Skip to main content

Full text of "Toward soviet America"

See other formats



From the collection of the 

7 n 

o Prelinger 
v JJibrary 

San Francisco, California 







William Z. Foster 








1413 Wett 18tb Street - Reoa 13 


All Rights Reserved 



THERE is a great and growing mass demand in this 
country to know just what is the Communist party 
and its program. The masses of toilers, suffering 
under the burdens of the crisis, are keenly discon- 
tented and want to find a way out of their intoler- 
able situation. They are alarmed at the depth, 
length and general severity of the crisis. They be- 
gin to realize that "there is something rotten in 
Denmark," that there are fundamental flaws in the 
capitalist system. Their growing realization of 
this is further strengthened as they see the spec- 
tacular rise of Socialism in the Soviet Union. The 
masses are beginning rightly to sense that Commu- 
nism has an important message for the human race, 
and they want to know what it is. 

Capitalism is deeply anxious that the masses do 
not get this message. Hence, from the outset it 
has carried on a campaign of falsification of the 
Russian revolution entirely without parallel in his- 
tory. There has been a veritable ocean of lies in the 
capitalist press against the U.S.S.R. The Ameri- 
can Federation of Labor leadership and the Social- 
ist party, defenders of the capitalist system, have 
outdone even the capitalists themselves in this 


wholesale vilification. The effort of the capitalists 
and their labor lieutenants has been to set off the 
Communists as willful enemies and destroyers of 
the human race. But the masses begin to see 
through this misrepresentation and they want to 
know the truth. 

The present book is an attempt to meet this mass 
demand by a plain statement of Communist policy, 
avoiding technical complexities and theoretical 
elaboration. It outlines simply the program, 
strength, strategy and perspectives of the Com- 
munist party of the United States. It undertakes 
to point out what is the matter with capitalism and 
what must be done about it. It indicates where 
America is heading and it makes a practical appli- 
cation of the lessons of the Russian revolution to 
the situation in this country. Its central purpose 
is to explain to the oppressed and exploited masses 
of workers and poor farmers how, under the leader- 
ship of the Communist party, they can best protect 
themselves now, and in due season cut their way 
out of the capitalist jungle to Socialism. 


New York City 
May 1, 1932 




The Present Economic Crisis, p. 3; The Mass 
Impoverishment of the Toilers, p. 7; Capitalist 
Fear and Confusion, p. 15; Cyclical Crises, p. 
20; The General Crisis of Capitalism, p. 25; 
The Decaying Capitalist System, p. 33; The 
War Danger, p. 40; The World-Wide Revolu- 
tionary Upsurge, p. 53 ; The Revolutionary Per- 
spective, p. 63. 


Flourishing Bolshevik Industries, p. 75; The 
Revolution in Agriculture, p. 88; Outstripping 
the Capitalist Countries, p. 92 ; Real Prosperity 
for the Toilers, p. 97; The Cultural Revolution, 
p. 108; Accomplishing the Impossible, p. 115; 
Socialism and Communism, p. 128; The Dicta- 
torship of the Proletariat, p. 133; The Commu- 
nist Party of the Soviet Union, p. 140. 



(a) Quack Capitalist Economic Remedies, p. 
146; The Rationalization of Industry, p. 147; 
The American "New Capitalism," p. 149; 
Trusts and Cartels, p. 155; The Movement for 
Capitalist Planned Economy, p. 161 ; The Ques- 
tion of an Organized Capitalism, p. 169; (b) 
Futile Efforts to Quench the Class Struggle, p. 
172; From Social Reformism to Social Fascism, 
p. 174; The Fasciszation of the American Fed- 
eration of Labor, p. 177; The Fasciszation of the 



Socialist Party, p. 185; The "Left" Social Fas- 
cists, p. 193; The Bankruptcy of Social Fascism, 
p. 200; The Futility of Fascism, p. 204. 



The Conquest of Political Power, p. 212; The 
Revolutionary Forces in the United States, p. 
220; The Communist Party; the Party of the 
Toilers, p. 234; The Present-Day Tasks of the 
American Revolutionary Movement, p. 241 ; The 
Communist Party Program of Immediate De- 
mands, p. 247 ; A Program of Class Struggle, p. 
252; The American Workers and the Revolu- 
tion, p. 260. 


The American Soviet Government, p. 271 ; The 
Expropriation of the Expropriators, p. 277; The 
Improvement of the Toilers' Conditions, p. 280; 
The Liquidation of Capitalist Robbery and 
Waste, p. 283; The Reorganization of Industry, 
p. 288; The Collectivization of Agriculture, p. 
296; The Liberation of the Negro, p. 300; The 
Emancipation of Woman, p. 306; Unshackling 
the Youth, p. 309; The Cultural Revolution in 
the United States, p. 313; Curing Crime and 
Criminals, p. 319; The Abolition of War, p. 324; 
Socialist Incentive, p. 328; Collectivism and In- 
dividualism, p. 332; Building a New World, 
p. 338. 




THE MOST striking and significant political and 
social fact in the world today is the glaring contrast 
between the industrial, political and social condi- 
tions prevailing in the capitalist countries and 
those obtaining in the Soviet Union. Throughout 
the capitalist world, without exception, the picture 
is one of increasing chaos and crisis. The capital- 
ist industrial system is paralysed as never before. 
Tremendous masses of workers are thrown into un- 
employment and destitution. The standards of 
living of the producing masses have declined catas- 
trophically, mass starvation existing in every capi- 
talist country, including the United States. War 
is already here in Manchuria and preparations go 
ahead upon an unprecedented scale for future wars 
against the Soviet Union and among the capitalist 
powers themselves. To enforce their regime of 
hunger and intensified exploitation, the capitalists 
everywhere are increasingly developing their dic- 
tatorship from its masked form of bourgeois de- 
mocracy into open systems of Fascist terrorism. 
And against all this the revolutionary upsurge of 


the workers and poor farmers becomes worldwide; 
revolutionary struggle growing acute in many 
countries. Capitalism is manifestly in serious 

On the other hand, the Soviet Union, born in the 
midst of the capitalist world slaughter of 1914-18, 
presents a picture of growth and general social 
advance. The Russian industries and agriculture 
are expanding at an unheard-of rate, the Soviet 
Union being the only country in the world not pros- 
trated by the economic crisis. The masses of pro- 
ducers of factory and farm are all employed; their 
standards of living and culture are rapidly rising. 
They are building a new and free proletarian de- 
mocracy. In short, as capitalism goes deeper and 
deeper into crisis, the Soviet Union forges ahead 
faster and faster upon every front. 

The meaning of all this, as will be developed in 
the course of this book, is that the capitalist system 
is in decline and is historically being replaced by a 
new social order, Socialism. Capitalism, based 
upon the private ownership of industry and land 
and the exploitation of the toiling masses, has ex- 
hausted its social role; the revolutionary forces, 
under the leadership of the Communist Interna- 
tional, are gathering to sweep it away and to build 
in its place a social system based upon the com- 
mon ownership of the means of production and the 
carrying on of production for social use. Out of 
the welter of crisis and mass misery and war, a new 


social system is born. We are living in the histori- 
cal period of the revolutionary transition from 
capitalism to Socialism. 

The Present Economic Crisis 

LIKE a tornado the present economic crisis struck 
the capitalist world. It is a crisis of over-produc- 
tion. The first signs of this threatening over-pro- 
duction manifested themselves in Germany and 
central Europe generally in the latter part of 1928. 
The industrial decline began in the U. S. towards 
the middle of 1929, followed by the great October 
Wall Street crash, after which every capitalist 
country was swiftly drawn into the vortex. The 
inevitable result is the worst economic crisis, by far, 
in the whole history of capitalism. It is the deep- 
est, the most far-reaching and the longest. Every 
branch of industry, every capitalist country is 
affected. Only the Soviet Union is immune. And 
as Stalin says, "The crisis has struck deepest of 
all at the principal country of capitalism, its cita- 
del, the U.S.A." The crisis is setting in motion 
forces that threaten the very existence of the capi- 
talist system. 

Statistics constantly pile up to indicate the en- 
tirely unparalleled severity of the economic crisis. 
In industry the drop in production has been catas- 
trophic and, after 30 months of crisis, it still de- 
clines. Production in the basic industries has 


fallen more than 50% below 1929 levels and more 
than 30% below 1930. Steel has dipped to 20% 
of capacity and "even order inquiries for tacks are 
seized hopefully." Building is off about 70% since 
1928, notwithstanding "emergency" building pro- 
grams, etc. In 1931 American exports declined 
about one-third, or $1,418,000,000. The total na- 
tional income fell from 89.5 billions in 1929 to 52.4 
billions in 1931, or 41%. The drop in wholesale 
prices, 24% between 1929 and 1931, is wholly un- 
precedented, the previous record being 7% in the 
crisis of 1873-75. New financing decreased from 
6l/ 2 billions in 1929 to 2% billions in 1931. The 
general business index, at this writing registering 
60, a drop from 113 in Aug., 1929, is the lowest in 
American economic history, the nearest low to this 
being 72 in 1894. 

Internationally there is a similar picture, world 
production levels at this time being about those of 
1913. According to League of Nations' figures, 
world trade has fallen off 40% from the Spring of 
1929 until the end of 1931, a decline entirely with- 
out precedent. 1 In England production is at 65, 
or far below pre-war levels. In Germany, says the 
German Institute for Business Research, "Indus- 
trial production is about as large as it was in 
the years 1900-03." Production in France has 
dropped 20% since the middle of 1930. Poland 
and Austria have declined 28% and 31% respec- 

i The Phases and Course of the World Depression. 


tively since 1929. The Balkans are deep in crisis, 
Japan's industries have been similarly paralysed. 

Unemployment has developed internationally 
upon an unheard-of scale. In Great Britain there 
are 3,000,000 unemployed, in Germany 6,500,000, 
in France unemployment registers an all-time rec- 
ord, and in the United States over 12,000,000 are 
unemployed. There are almost as many more 
part-time workers. Throughout the capitalist 
countries there are not less than 40,000,000 unem- 
ployed and the number constantly increases. 

In agriculture the crisis is no less ravaging and 
general. According to the Department of Agri- 
culture bulletin of Dec. 16, 1931, the value of farm 
products declined from $8,765,820,000 in 1929 
(which was already about 50% below 1919) to 
$4,122,850,000 in 1931, as against a decline of only 
10% in prices of commodities that farmers must 
buy. The terrific fall in the prices of agricultural 
products is graphically illustrated by the fact that 
on Oct. 4, 1931 wheat reached 44^ cents a bushel 
on the market, the lowest point since the Civil War, 
with farmers getting as low as 25 cents. And 
world agriculture in the capitalist countries is in a 
similar crisis, prices received by the peasants hav- 
ing fallen from 40% to 70% for the great staples, 
wheat, cotton, rice, rubber, silk, coffee, etc. 

In finance the world economic crisis also mani- 
fests itself with devastating effects. Whichever 
way one looks there is a spreading ruin and wreck- 


age. The whole financial system of capitalism is 
tottering. Internationally, there is a great wave 
of bankruptcy, many of Europe's oldest and 
greatest banks and industrial concerns collapsing. 
Great Britain, Japan and various other countries 
have been driven off the gold standard. Stock 
exchange prices in many countries have dropped 
50% to 75%, the general average in France de- 
clining from 437 in 1930 to 230 at the end of 1931. 
Huge deficits exist in all the national government 
budgets. Repudiation of international debts is the 
order of the day, with the United States standing 
to lose, counting war debts and other loans now in 
default, from 10 to 15 billion dollars. 

The United States, home of the world's strongest 
capitalism, presents a similar picture of financial 
crisis. During 1931, 2,290 banks with deposits of 
$1,759,000,000 closed their doors, and 17,000 retail 
stores failed. In 1931, bank deposits declined by 
seven billion dollars. From the middle of 1929 to 
the end of March, 1932, the average prices of 30 
leading industrial stocks on the New York Stock 
Exchange dropped from $381.17 to $61.98. 2 The 
total loss in security "values," according to B. C. 
Forbes, was 75 billions. New York, Chicago, 
Philadelphia, Detroit and hundreds of smaller 
cities are bankrupt. The Federal government 
faces a deficit of about two and one-half billion dol- 
lars. And, most significant of all, the Federal 

2 New York American, April 12, 1932. 


Reserve Bank system, a financial fortress of sup- 
posed Gibraltar strength, has manifestly proved 
unable to stand the strain, the Hoover two billion 
dollar Reconstruction Finance Corporation being 
an attempt to buttress up the reserve bank system 
by a further concentration of the State power be- 
hind the great bankers and by a policy of inflation. 
Mazur says: "1931 has witnessed a substantial 
debacle of both the orthodox currency basis and 
the established banking system of the world." 3 
And the end is not yet, with the crisis deepening 

The Mass Impoverishment of the Toilers 

"We in America today are nearer to the final triumph 
over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." 
President Hoover, Aug. 11, 1928. 

THROUGHOUT capitalism the policy of the ruling 
class is to try to find a way out of the crisis by 
throwing its burden upon the shoulders of the 
working class, the poor farmers and the lower sec- 
tions of the city petty bourgeoisie. This is being 
done by a vast system of starving the unemployed, 
wage-cuts, speed-up, inflation schemes, taxes di- 
rected against the masses, etc. In consequence, 
with the development of the crisis, there has been 
an enormous increase in the impoverishment of the 
toiling masses. 

s Current History, November, 1931. 


Wholesale starvation, spreading like a plague, is 
the order of the day in all capitalist countries. 
The bourgeoisie, intent only upon its own pleas- 
ures, cynically shrugs its shoulders at the whole 
terrible misery, when it does not hypocritically di- 
rect the masses towards religion for consolation. 
Nor are there "scientists" lacking to justify this 
mass starvation. Thus Prof. E. G. Conklin of 
Princeton University says: "Some of the weaker, 
according to the law of nature, will naturally die 
under the stress of the times. Others will not 
propagate their kind. The strong and hardy will 
survive and reproduce, and thus the human race 
will be strengthened." 4 

Since the onset of the present economic crisis 
American workers and poor farmers, through un- 
employment, part-time work, wage-cuts, reduced 
prices for agricultural products, tax increases, etc., 
have suffered a general decline in their living stand- 
ards of at least 50%. Prof. Leiserson estimates 
that the total income of industrial and office work- 
ers was about 22 billion dollars less in 1931 than 
in 1929, and this is supported by the figures of 
Business Week (Feb. 10). This is by no means 
offset by the decline in living costs which, accord- 
ing to the U. S. Dept. of Labor, amounted to 
11.7% from June, 1929, until June, 1931. On the 
farms, the Alexander Hamilton Institute says, the 
average income per household has dropped from 

4 New York Times, Jan. 28, 1932. 


$887 in 1929 (already a crisis year in agriculture) 
to but $367 in 1931. 

By these gigantic reductions in their real income 
masses of toilers of field and factory have been 
forced down to actual starvation conditions. Even 
before the crisis the working masses stood at the 
very threshold of destitution. The average wage 
of industrial workers during the height of "pros- 
perity" did not exceed $23.00 per week. Conse- 
quently, the vast body of American toilers existed 
from hand to mouth. They had very little re- 
serves. Paul Nystrom says that 9,000,000 people 
in the United States lived below the subsistence 
level. 5 Then came the economic hurricane. 

The result is real destitution, verging into actual 
starvation, on a broad scale in the United States, 
"Only in countries like India and China are there 
today larger numbers of workers suffering from 
mass unemployment, hunger, semi-starvation, dis- 
ease and other manifold evils of wholesale poverty 
than in the United States the richest country in 
the world," says the Statement of the National 
Hunger Marchers to Congress, Dec. 7, 1931. 
"One-third to one-half of our population is at vari- 
ous stages ranging from hunger to the pressing 
danger of losing homes and farms," says Governor 
LaFollette. The New York American, (Feb. 21, 
1932) , says: "Food is lacking in 81 per cent of the 
New York City homes that have been stricken by 

6 Economic Principles of Consumption. 


unemployment, the Emergency Unemployment 
Relief Committee reported last night." William 
Hodson, executive director of the Welfare Council 
of New York City, informs us: "Relief in New 
York City is now on what might be called a disaster 
basis . . . the spectre of starvation faces millions 
who never were out of work before." The Balti- 
more Post, (Mar. 11, 1932), declares; "40,000 face 
starvation in Baltimore." An Associated Press 
dispatch of Mar. 23, 1932, from Tulsa, Okla., says: 
"Ten thousand persons have been living here since 
Nov. 1 on a charity ration costing six cents a day 
per person." 

So it is all over the country. The cities are full 
of "Hoovervilles" and breadlines, where tens of 
thousands of homeless, hungry workers are com- 
pelled to exist in tin can shacks and to stand for 
hours to get a miserable bowl of soup. Workers 
fall famished in the streets in front of stores and 
warehouses that are crammed with the necessaries 
of life. Daily we read in the capitalist press of 
families actually starving to death. No longer is 
it "news" for a confused and desperate unemployed 
worker to blow out his brains or to do away with 
his family. 

The workers are losing wholesale the houses, 
radios, furniture, etc., that they so laboriously got 
together during the upward swing of American 
capitalism; thousands of farmers are losing their 
farms to the usurers. The Nation, (Mar. 23, 


1932), says that in Detroit alone 50,000 workers 
lost their life savings in the collapsed banks, and 
similar huge losses have been suffered all over the 
country. In 1931, according to the New York 
Journal, (Jan. 28), 198,738 workers' families were 
evicted from their homes in New York City for 
non-payment of rent. The worker's life has be- 
come an endless round of worry and misery. The 
jails are filled to overflowing, thousands preferring 
prison rigors to life under the Hoover regime of 
"rugged individualism." Prostitution spreads like 
a poison weed in every American city. Tubercu- 
losis runs riot among the half -starved masses, and 
the hospitals are packed with sufferers of diseases 
bred of under-nourishment, etc., etc. To such a 
debacle has come the Hooverian pre-election prom- 
ises of the "abolition of poverty," "a chicken in 
every pot" and "an automobile in every garage" 
for the workers. And daily the whole maze of 
poverty, starvation, misery and death gets worse. 
Manifestly, a fundamentally necessary measure 
against actual starvation among the workers is the 
establishment of a system of federal unemploy- 
ment insurance, financed by the government and 
the employers. This must be of a permanent char- 
acter, because what we have to deal with is not a 
temporary condition of unemployment, but a huge 
mass unemployment on a permanent basis. This, 
however, has not been done. The capitalists and 
their government have forced the workers into 


wholesale starvation which is now infesting the 
country like a plague. 

The entire question of unemployment relief has 
been reduced to a charity basis. Although the 
worker has spent his life producing the wealth of 
the country, now when the capitalist system has 
broken down he is treated as a mendicant and a 
criminal. He is thrown a beggarly handout like 
a starving dog. Mr. Gifford, head of Hoover's 
Emergency Employment Committee, boasted that 
in the 1931 Fall relief drive about $150,000,000 had 
been raised in the various localities. So far as the 
Federal government is concerned, this money (what 
the workers get of it after the grafters are through) 
has to last the unemployed for the whole year. 
Thus it figures out at about $1.00 per month for 
each of the 12,000,000 unemployed. In New 
York, richest city in the world, after a disgusting 
campaign of begging, $18,000,000 of Gifford's 
fund was raised. This would give about $1.50 per 
month to each of New York's 1,000,000 unem- 

The unemployed relief program of the Hoover 
Government is a real hunger plan. It is the policy 
of the capitalist class and it has the support of 
both big parties and the A. F. of L. That the 
Progressives also agree fundamentally with it is 
shown by the new unemployment insurance law in 
Wisconsin. This law adds insult to injury. Ac- 
cording to its beggarly provisions unemployed 


workers can receive only a maximum of $100 
yearly. And this applies only to those now em- 
ployed, for whom insurance funds will be gradu- 
ally built up. As for the masses of those totally 
unemployed now and part-time workers, they are 
left out of consideration altogether. 

If the capitalists have callously forced the toil- 
ing masses into starvation conditions they have, 
however, very carefully looked after their own in- 
terests. "During the first nine months of 1930, 
our national industrial and business system was 
able to and did pay $432,000,000 more in dividends 
and $191,000,000 more in interest than it did in 
1929; in the first nine months of 1931, the second 
year of the depression, it paid $347,000,000 more 
in dividends and $338,000,000 more in interest than 
it did in the first nine months of 1929." 6 The 
Publishers Financial Bureau, (New York Ameri- 
can, Mar. 19, 1932), states that the industrial divi- 
dends paid in 1931 are "the largest for any year 
previous to 1929." Anna Rochester says: "In 
September, 1931, the New York Times reported 
that of 5,000 companies, 50% had continued divi- 
dend payments without reduction; 20% were pay- 
ing smaller dividends; and only 30% had omitted 
payments entirely. . . . For October, 1931, the to- 
tal dividends plus bond interest by a large group 
of corporations were only 4% below the high record 

6 America Faces the Future, p. 370. 


of October, 1930." 7 Besides, every appeal of the 
bankers and other capitalists to the government for 
assistance has met with immediate response. The 
two billion dollar Reconstruction Finance Corpora- 
tion has been organized and the Glass- Steagall 
inflation bill is being prepared to absorb the worth- 
less paper of the banks and to underwrite the 
dividends of industrial corporations. And in the 
new Federal taxes the capitalists are further 
shielded from the economic effects of their own 

In the other capitalist countries starvation con- 
ditions also grip the masses. In Germany, with 
wages down 30% since the hunger period of 1929 
and millions getting no unemployment benefits, 
actual famine exists in many cities. The great 
masses in England are almost as badly-off. In 
Poland miners got 69 cents a day and have re- 
cently had another wage-cut. And the offensive 
to cut wages and reduce unemployment benefits 
and social insurance in general goes on ever faster 
throughout Europe. In the colonial and semi- 
colonial countries crisis conditions also prevail. 
Famine stalks in China and India. In Brazil, says 
E. Penno, Brazilian Public Health Director, 
"30,000,000 people are slowly dying of starvation, 
malaria and syphilis." The world over, the bank- 
rupt capitalist system is physically destroying the 
producing masses. The general crisis bids fair to 

7 Profits and Wages, p. 8. 


outdo in numbers of human victims even the mur- 
derous World War itself. 

All this is a picture of a society in decay. Great 
mills and factories standing idle and warehouses 
piled full of goods, while millions of toilers starve 
and lack the necessities of life that is plain bank- 
ruptcy. Never until capitalism appeared upon the 
world scene was such an anomoly possible star- 
vation in the midst of plenty. The present great 
crisis is not only a glaring exhibition of the decline 
of capitalism, it is a crime against the human race. 

Capitalist Fear and Confusion 

THE WOELD economic crisis has dealt a shattering 
blow to capitalist complacency. Greatly alarmed, 
the capitalists dimly perceive its seriousness, with- 
out understanding its causes. Chadbourne, the 
sugar expert says: "Those who speak about these 
world depressions coming in cycles and this being 
one of these cycles are talking sheer nonsense. 
This is a depression for which there is no prece- 
dent." 8 Judge Brandeis says: "The people of the 
United States are now confronted with an emer- 
gency more serious than war." Pope Pius XI de- 
clares: "The international crisis is too general to 
have been the work of men. It is evident that 
the hand of God is being felt." 

Over the world system of capitalism there grows 

8 Speech in Brussels, May 9, 1931. 


a brooding fear of revolution. The capitalists 
cannot cure their deepening crisis and have been 
unable to check its progress. The old tricks and 
slogans for making capitalism "go" are no longer 
potent. Pessimism and confusion begin to appear 
in the ranks of the bourgeoisie. They start to see, 
not prosperity, but the revolution, "just around the 
corner." Spengler asserts: "It is no mere crisis, 
but the beginning of a catastrophe. 9 The chief 
economist of the Stock Exchange, Dr. Irving 
Fisher of Yale, in a speech cited by the United 
Press on Jan. 3, of this year, issued "a warning 
to capitalism 'to clean the dirt of depression' from 
its foundation or be devoured by some form of 
Socialism." In the recent debates in the House on 
the sales tax Rep. Rainey declared that the Ameri- 
can people "are right up against Communism." 
Mr. Raymond Fosdick, (New York Times, Dec. 
27, 1931), shrinks at the prospect of a revolution, 
stating that: "Western civilization (read capital- 
ism, WZF) has begun to look furtively around, 
listening behind it for the silent tread of some dread 
specter of destruction." W. F. Simms, Scripps- 
Howard Foreign Editor, in a dispatch of Oct. 5, 
1931, says: 

"The object of these epochal comings and goings (the 
various international conferences), it is admitted behind 
the scenes, is nothing more or less than to prevent, not 
merely the collapse of this or that particular country, 

9 The American Mercury, January, 1932. 


but of the white man's universe as a whole. For recent 
events have driven Washington, London, Paris, Berlin 
and Rome to the startling realization that only some sane 
accord on international finances, economics and arma- 
ments and that promptly can prevent a general 

Such elements among the bourgeoisie become 
especially lugubrious when they think of the Soviet 
Union. They begin to sense Communism as a 
higher and inevitable order of society. They more 
and more realize, as their own society goes deeper 
into crisis, that the U.S.S.R., forging ahead, is 
having a profoundly revolutionary effect upon the 
masses of starving workers and poor peasants still 
under capitalism. Prof. Pollock, a bourgeois sci- 
entist, at the 1931 World Congress for Social Plan- 
ning, said: 

"The Soviet Union has filled millions of workers and 
peasants with hope and belief in a better future and of 
the possibility of further progress. With us, on the con- 
trary, things get worse every year. If capitalism is not 
capable of arousing equal enthusiasm and readiness for 
sacrifice in the masses, then there can be no doubt that 
th^y will finally choose the path of the Soviets." 

It is well known, of course, that the European 
bourgeoisie, animated by such fears, are taking 
many precautions for their personal safety. But 
it is "news" that American capitalists feel the need 
for similar measures. In Liberty, Jan. 2, 1932, 
Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., says, speaking of the 


ultra-rich: "They see the possibility of long vistas 
of hungry faces in breadlines again this winter, 
and they fear the red specter of revolution. . . It 
is interesting to note that since the beginning of 
the depression the yachts of society millionaires (in 
New York Harbor) have invariably been anchored 
in places where their owners could board them on 
short notice." 

These dark forebodings are true expressions of 
the fear eating at the consciousness of the capi- 
talist class. They serve to stimulate the offensive 
against the workers. But, of course, the general 
policy of the capitalists does not limit itself to 
spreading such pessimism. On the contrary, espe- 
cially in the United States, they systematically cul- 
tivate optimism. As the capitalists intensify their 
drive against the workers' standards of living, they 
at the same time increase their propaganda about 
the impending return of prosperity. The burden 
of their song is that this is "just another crisis," 
that the crises of the past have been overcome and 
have been followed by "prosperity," and that the 
same thing must happen again. The cultivation 
of such prosperity illusions is one of the principal 
methods of the capitalists to break the resistance 
of the workers against wage-cuts, starvation, relief 
systems, etc. 

This pollyanna propaganda is best illustrated in 
the policy of the federal government. President 
Hoover started out, at the time of the Wall Street 


crash) by assuring everyone that this was only a 
financial bubble, that the great "prosperity" was 
safe. Then, when the industrial crisis was upon 
us on all sides, he assured us, March 8, 1930, that 
"the depression will be over in 60 days." And 
from that time on every department in the govern- 
ment has harped upon a similar string. Undoubt- 
edly, the effect of sowing such illusions has been 
to facilitate the wholesale cutting down of the 
workers' living standards that has taken place. 
The theory that the crisis will cure itself and that 
all will be w T ell again, is further classically illus- 
trated by Prof. Taussig, who advises us: "Don't 
spend too much; don't hoard; don't worry; just live 
normally and everything will right itself in due 
time as it has always done." 10 

The capitalist optimists are wrong; the fears of 
the pessimists are justified. What we have to deal 
with is not "just another crisis," which will soon 
liquidate itself and be followed by a higher and 
worldwide wave of "prosperity." It is a profound 
economic crisis developing on the basis of a rapidly 
deepening general crisis of capitalism. Arising 
out of fundamental weaknesses of the present so- 
cial system, it is setting on foot forces that are 
drastically undermining the very economic, po- 
litical and social foundations of capitalism, and 
hastening that system ever faster towards the prole- 
tarian revolution. 

10 Radio Broadcast, Jan. 23, 1932. 


Cyclical Crises 

IN ORDER to understand what is the matter with the 
capitalist system, why it is torn with economic 
crises, war and revolution and why it is sentenced 
to death as a social order, it is necessary to take at 
least a brief glance at the basic processes of capi- 
talism. If this is done it is readily seen that the 
capitalist system is a shaky house built upon sand. 
It is full of incurable internal contradictions which 
cause its conflicts and crises, which deepen with 
the development of capitalism, which produce its 
decline and decay, and which must culminate in its 
revolutionary overthrow. Over 80 years ago Marx 
pointed out these innate weaknesses of capitalism. 

The basic contradiction of capitalism, the source 
of all its weakness and of its final dissolution, is 
found in the fact that this system does not carry 
on production for the benefit of society as a whole 
but for the profit of a relatively small owning class. 
The great industries by which society must live 
are owned by private individuals who ruthlessly 
exploit the masses who work in these industries. 
Under capitalism production is regulated not by 
the needs of the masses but by whether or not the 
capitalist class can make a profit by such produc- 
tion; commodities are not produced primarily for 
use, but for profit. 

The system of private ownership and production 
for profit generates the whole series of contradic- 


tions and conflicts economic, political and social 
which torment present day society, causing dis- 
ruption in the economic life and violent struggles 
between individual capitalists, between social classes 
and between capitalist States. This maze of con- 
flict turns around the two major contradictions 
into which the basic contradiction of capitalism re- 
solves itself. The first of these is economic, the 
tendency of capitalist production to exceed the buy- 
ing capacity of the masses and thus to cause crises 
of over-production. The second contradiction is 
social in character, the division of capitalist society 
into classes of exploiters and producers, with re- 
sultant class struggle between them. The first 
contradiction, making for the disruption of capi- 
talist economy and the impoverishment of the 
masses, provides the objective conditions for even- 
tual revolution ; the second, organizing the political 
struggle of the toiling masses, prepares the sub- 
jective factor, the revolutionary working class. 

Now let us examine briefly the first of these 
major contradictions, the tendency of capitalist 
production to outstrip the markets, to cause over- 
production. Over-production is inherent in the 
capitalist system because the toiling masses, robbed 
in the industries by the employers, are paid back 
in the shape of wages only a fraction of the value 
they create. The wage of the worker remains 
essentially at the subsistence level, regardless of his 
productive capacity. 


This exploitation results in a piling up of com- 
modities in the hands of the capitalists, for natu- 
rally a worker getting a wage of three to five 
dollars a day cannot buy back the ten to twenty or 
more dollars' worth of commodities he has pro- 
duced. This gap between his producing and buy- 
ing powers widens by the constant increase in the 
workers' productive capacity through machinery 
and the speed-up and also by the lowering of their 
standards of living. The gigantic booty in the 
possession of the capitalists is further increased by 
their wholesale robbery of the poor farmers by pay- 
ing them low prices for their products, charging 
them monopoly prices for the commodities they 
must buy, loading them down with exorbitant taxes, 
usurious loans, etc. 

The capitalists waste huge masses of these stolen 
commodities through luxurious living, by the crea- 
tion of hordes of parasitic occupations, by immense 
military establishments and wars. They seek to 
dispose of them by export trade. But the sur- 
pluses are not exhausted by these means. There 
is an inevitable tendency to glut the market with 
unsaleable commodities. Even though, as now, 
the millions of producers, who make up the bulk of 
the population, may actually starve and die for 
want of the barest necessities of life, the market 
suffers from over-production. 

This basic tendency of capitalism to over-pro- 
duction (while the masses starve) results in actual 


economic crisis because of the competitive character 
of the capitalist system. Under capitalism there 
is and can be no general plan of production to fit 
social needs. Capitalist production is anarchic. 
The innumerable individual capitalists and com- 
panies, ruthlessly exploiting the toiling masses, 
produce whatever they think they can sell by dint 
of sharp competition with each other. The results 
are, the impoverished masses not being able to buy 
back what they have produced, over-expansion of 
the industries, a general flooding of the markets 
and a hastening of the capitalist crisis of over- 

But the basic tendency of capitalism towards 
over-production does not result in immediate and 
chronic industrial stagnation, because it is partially 
offset by a counter tendency towards the expansion 
of the capitalist market. Among the principal 
factors historically in this market expansion have 
been the extension of capitalism upon a world scale, 
with a consequent wide development of transporta- 
tion and communication industries, the gradual 
conquest of the peasant and handicraft occupations 
and their re-organization upon a capitalist basis, 
the large increase in population in all countries, the 
building of elementary public services such as 
water and lighting plants in many countries, the 
huge growth of munitions making and the military 
establishment, etc. 

These developments of the capitalist market have 


provided outlets for the investment of the capital 
robbed from the workers in the shape of surplus 
value. But the tendency for the market to expand 
has always lagged behind the tendency to clog 
the market with over-production. In consequence 
there is periodic need for the readjustment of 
these mutually antagonistic tendencies. These re- 
adjustments are the cyclical crises of capitalism. 

Marx made the first analysis of the causes and 
consequences of these crises. Cyclical crises are 
common to all capitalists countries, including the 
United States, which has experienced 15 of such 
major economic disturbances since 1814. In the 
various countries the cycles have averaged from 
seven to nine years. The development of the capi- 
talist system has not been even and steady, but by 
a series of jerks. The zigzag graph made by the 
cyclical crises is the normal graph of capitalist 
growth the world over. 

The general course of the capitalist cycle is quite 
familiar. First, the upward trend, a period of in- 
dustrial expansion, with rising prices and wages, 
an era of good employment, "prosperity" and op- 
timism, gradually developing into a boom, with its 
characteristic orgies of feverish production, stock 
speculation, etc.; secondly, the downward trend, 
with the gradual surfeit of the market from excess 
production, slowing down of industry, wage-cuts, 
fall of prices, mass unemployment, financial "pan- 
ics" and general economic crisis; and thirdly, the 


trough of the crisis, in which the productive forces 
are diminished and the choking surplus of com- 
modities, in the low state of production, are con- 
sumed or wasted in various ways and the markets 
thus cleared for a fresh race between the swiftly 
expanding productive forces and the more slowly 
developing capitalist market. 

But the cyclical crisis is more than an economic 
disturbance. It also greatly sharpens the major 
social contradiction of capitalism, the ever-active 
antagonism between the working class and the 
capitalist class. In economic crises the capitalists 
always seek to shift the economic burden onto the 
workers through wage-cuts, etc., and this still 
further stokes the class struggle. Hence, the capi- 
talist cyclical crises have been especially periods 
of great strikes fiercely fought, growing class con- 
sciousness of the workers, etc. 

The present economic crisis bears this cyclical 
character, but it develops under the special condi- 
tions of the deepening general crisis of capitalism, 
which profoundly change its character and deepen 
its effects in every direction. 

The General Crisis of Capitalism 

THE TREND of capitalist development is not, how- 
ever, a simple repetition of cycles, with capitalism 
necessarily having a broadened base and stronger 
sinews after each cyclical crisis. It is a bourgeois 


fallacy that production and exchange, in the long 
run, automatically balance each other under capi- 
talism, that the capitalist market mechanically ex- 
pands to accommodate the increased production. 
On the contrary, as we have seen, the capitalist 
system, in its very essence, leads to over-pro- 
duction. This tendency to over-production is vastly 
strengthened as capitalism develops. The pro- 
ductive powers of the workers more and more 
outrun their consumptive capacity. Thus the ma- 
jor economic contradiction of capitalism, that be- 
tween production and exchange, becomes ever 
deeper and more devastating, and with it, like its 
shadow, grows an intensification of the revolu- 
tionary class struggle. 

Capitalism can live only by a rapid extension of 
its market, so that the ever-increasing masses of 
surplus value robbed from the workers may be 
disposed of through new capital investment. 
Therefore, the widening of the gap between the 
productive forces and the consuming power of the 
impoverished masses progressively brings the whole 
capitalist system into broader and deeper crises, 
into sharper class struggle, and eventually into 
decay and decline. Karl Marx clearly foresaw the 
development of this general crisis of capitalism 
when, speaking of the manner of liquidating the 
cyclical crises, he said it was "paving the way for 
more extensive and more destructive crises and 
diminishing the means whereby crises are pre- 


vented." As Varga says: "Each cycle is at the 
same time a step in the history of capitalism, bring- 
ing it nearer to its termination." 1X So far, in fact, 
has this general trend gone that the world capi- 
talist system can be said definitely to have entered 
its period of decay. That is, capitalism no longer 
has to deal simply with cyclical crises, each of which 
left it upon a higher plane, but a growing general 
crisis, political as well as economic, which marks 
its decline as a world system. 

The history of capitalist development may be 
divided into two general eras, industrial capitalism 
and imperialism. The former was the period of 
"healthy" capitalism, of its rapid rise and exten- 
sion; the latter is the period of its decay and de- 
cline. As Lenin says, "Imperialism is the final 
stage of capitalism." Regarding the early phase 
of capitalism, the Program of the Communist In- 
ternational states: 

"The period of industrial capitalism was, in the main, a 
period of 'free competition,' a period of a steady develop- 
ment and expansion of capitalism throughout the entire 
world, when the as yet unoccupied colonies were being 
divided up and conquered by armed force; a period of 
continued growth of the inherent contradictions of capi- 
talism, the burden of which fell mainly upon the sys- 
tematically plundered, crushed and oppressed colonial 

Imperialism is the era of monopolistic capitalism. 
It has been analysed by Lenin in his Imperialism, 

11 International Press Correspondence, No. 27, 1931. 


which may be summarized as follows: (a), the con- 
centration of industry and the development of 
trusts and other monopoly forms; (b), the concen- 
tration of banking capital and its amalgamation 
with industrial capital under the hegemony of fi- 
nance capital; (c), the export of capital from the 
imperialist countries; (d), the division of the world 
among monopolistic unions of capitalists, cartels, 
syndicates and trusts; (e), the territorial division 
of the world among the great imperial powers. 

The correctness of this elementary analysis is 
clear. It would serve no purpose to summon sta- 
tistics to show the gigantic growth of trusts and 
powerful banks in all capitalist countries, and the 
supremacy of finance capital. The significance of 
the export of capital is that when it takes place it 
means that the faster developing productive forces 
have quite outrun the slower developing home mar- 
ket in the given country and that it becomes neces- 
sary to find foreign markets for the excess of 
capital and other commodities. All the great capi- 
talist countries have reached this stage, England 
being the earliest and most classical example. The 
growth of the international trusts and cartels and 
"spheres of influence" are a matter of common 
knowledge. And as for Lenin's final proposition, 
the division of the world among the capitalist pow- 
ers with the growth of imperialism, he says: "In 
1876 three powers had no colonies; and a third one, 
France, had hardly any. In 1914 those four pow- 


ers had acquired a colonial empire of 14,100,000 
square kilometers, or approximately one and a half 
times greater than the area of Europe, with a popu- 
lation of some 100,000,000 souls . . . the division 
of the world was 'completed' by the dawn of the 
20th century." 12 

The United States began clearly to show its im- 
perialistic character about 1900. This was evi- 
denced by the intensification of the growth of 
trusts, the rapid rise to dominance of the great 
banking interests, and by the beginnings of a sys- 
tem of colonies through the seizure of the Philip- 
pines, Cuba, Porto Rico, etc., and the development 
of "spheres of influence" in China, Latin America, 
etc. All these tendencies increased with the pas- 
sage of the years, but it was only after the World 
War that American imperialism came to maturity. 
Fattening upon the slain of that great slaughter, 
with the other imperialist countries paralysed by 
the murderous struggle, American imperialism was 
able to export capital (including the war loans) to 
the gigantic amount of 27 billion dollars. It has 
widely penetrated into a score of Latin American 
countries, reducing them to semi-colonies. Its in- 
fluence in Canada is tremendous. It tries, with its 
Young Plan and other financial schemes of enslave- 
ment, to reduce Europe to its control. It has a 
hand in every imperialistic robbery in China and 
Africa. With its great navy and potentially tre- 

12 Imperialism, p. 66. 


mendous military establishment, it has become the 
most powerful and ruthless of imperialist powers, 
aiming at hegemony over the world. 

The development of world imperialism enor- 
mously sharpened all the contradictions of capital- 
ism. The major economic contradiction between 
the producing and consuming powers of the masses 
was vastly deepened. The productive powers were 
increased, the exploitation of the workers in the in- 
dustrial countries and the colonial masses was in- 
tensified. The class struggle became more acute, 
the war danger more menacing. The great pow- 
ers began to fight more relentlessly to conquer the 
lagging world markets to dispose of their choking 
surpluses of commodities, to win new sources of 
supplies of raw materials for their industries and 
to re-divide the world to their respective advan- 
tage. Capitalism began definitely to show signs 
of the developing general crisis. 

The World War was a great clash of the sharp- 
ening imperialist antagonisms, an acute expression 
of the growing general crisis of the capitalist econ- 
omy. It was an attempt of the various powers to 
solve their deepening problems by eliminating each 
other as competitors in the world market and by re- 
dividing the colonial world. The capitalist na- 
tions, developing with uneven tempo, could not 
tolerate the pre-existing division of markets and 
colonies. The great capitalist crisis which was the 
World War naturally caused a tremendous inten- 


sification of the class struggle. Revolutionary 
upheavals took place in many countries. The out- 
standing result was the loss to capitalism of one' 
sixth of the globe, Russia, and what prevented its 
losing Germany, Italy and several other countries 
were the counter-revolutionary activities of the So- 
cialist parties against the revolutionary workers, 
which defeated the revolution in these countries. 

After the great war and these revolutionary up- 
heavals, which nearly killed it, capitalism got a 
brief breathing spell. By 1924 it had achieved 
what the Communist International called a "par- 
tial and temporary stabilization/' both economi- 
cally, and politically. Economically this was based 
upon the replacement of the material destruction 
wrought by the war, catching up with the war- 
caused building shortage, and by investment of 
capital necessary to rationalize antiquated indus- 
tries in various countries; and politically it was 
based on the defeat of the revolutionary attempts 
of the proletariat. 

But this breathing spell for capitalism did not 
last long. The tendency for capitalist production 
to outrun the markets soon manifested itself 
stronger than ever. In a number of capitalist 
countries there has been an intense rationalization 
of industry. Thus in the United States, which is 
the extreme illustration, from 1923 to 1928 there 
was a total of 200,000 less workers required to pro- 


duce 42% more in the industries. 13 On the rail- 
roads a given quantity of freight is transported now 
by 33% fewer workers than 20 years ago. 14 Tug- 
well shows increases in efficiency in the various 
industries, 1914 to 1925, of from 10% (meat pack- 
ing) to 210% (automobiles). 15 And in agricul- 
ture, 14% less farm workers produced 20% more 
crops in 1925 than in 1910. 16 Besides, in the 
colonial and semi-colonial countries, such as India, 
China, Africa, Australia, etc., there has been con- 
siderable industrialization in spite of the deter- 
mined efforts of the imperialist countries to prevent 
it and to retain these countries simply as markets 
for their manufactured articles and as sources of 
raw materials. 

The purchasing power of the masses has in no 
sense kept pace with this increased producing 
capacity. On the contrary, there has been a vast 
crippling of the capitalist market through whole- 
sale reductions in the real wages of workers and 
the incomes of farmers the world over; that is, by 
the widespread impoverishment and decline in the 
living standards of the masses. The result is a 
great clogging of the world markets and the 
present unprecedented economic crisis. 

is A. F. of L., Business Survey, November, 1931. 

i* Labor Fact Book, p. 107. 

15 Industry's Coming of Age, p. 3. 

1 Harvey Baum, p. 73. 


The Decaying Capitalist System 

IN RECENT years, especially since the beginning of 
the present economic crisis, the process of the con- 
centration of capital has been greatly speeded in 
all sections of capitalist economy and in all capi- 
talist countries. In the United States this has 
been marked by the wholesale wiping out of small 
business, the mergers of banks, the liquidation of 
stock-holdings of the petty bourgeoisie, the con- 
fiscation of great areas of farm land by foreclosure, 
etc. This rapid concentration of capital intensifies 
all the contradictions of capitalism. 

It has produced, together with the unparalleled 
depth and breadth of the economic crisis and mass 
starvation, previously discussed, many other mani- 
festations which, in sum, constitute the general 
crisis and decay of capitalism in this, its final stage 
of monopoly and imperialism. Most of these de- 
cay factors were already in evidence, but the pres- 
ent economic crisis is greatly emphasizing and 
developing them. They sharpen the capitalist con- 
tradictions in every direction. They intensify the 
contradiction between the capitalist methods of 
production and exchange; they broaden and deepen 
the struggles between workers and capitalists, be- 
tween the various capitalist countries, between the 
imperialist countries and the colonies, and between 
the two world systems represented by capitalism as 
a whole and the U.S.S.R. They are undermining 


the foundations and breaking down the very fiber 
of capitalism. They make more and more for in- 
dustrial paralysis, mass starvation, war, revolution. 

Some of the more outstanding of these manifes- 
tations of the growing general crisis are, without 
analyzing in detail the specific gravity of each: 

(a) Over-expansion of Industry: In view of 
the limited capacities of the capitalist markets, 
there is a large over-expansion of the industrial 
plant in all the leading capitalist countries. This 
constantly grows more pronounced. The United 
States is a striking example of this condition. It 
is typically illustrated by the automobile industry 
with a capacity estimated at 10,000,000 cars yearly 
and a record output of but 4,500,000; the bitumi- 
nous coal mines with a capacity of 750,000,000 tons 
yearly and an output (1929) of 535,000,000; the 
steel industry with a capacity of 65,000,000 tons 
and a maximum output (1929) of 56,000,000; tex- 
tiles with 50% excess plant capacity, etc. Even 
in the greatest boom periods these capacities can- 
not be fully utilized. Such conditions, common to 
the most highly industrialized countries of capi- 
talism, are not only basic causes of the economic 
crisis but also prolific breeders of the ultra-reac- 
tionary practices of the destruction of commodities 
and such dismantling of industry as the present 
proposal to tear out 100,000 British looms and 
10,000,000 spindles. 


(b) Chronic Industrial Stagnation: In the 
growing general crisis of capitalism there is an 
intensification of the whole phenomenon of the eco- 
nomic crisis. As Varga says: "Crises now follow 
more speedily upon one another, attain a greater 
depth, and shake bourgeois rule more violently than 
before." Besides this, whole sections of the capi- 
talist economy, even before the present crisis, had 
fallen into a state of more or less chronic depression. 
Thus England and Germany, the one with its for- 
eign trade ruined and the other hamstrung by its 
imperialist rivals, had been in practically perma- 
nent crisis since the end of the war. Besides, the 
older industries (coal, textiles, shipbuilding, etc.) 
had suffered a similar stagnation in all industrial 
countries including the United States; only the 
newer industries (automobiles, chemicals, electri- 
cal, etc.) experiencing substantial growth and ex- 
pansion. As for agriculture, it had been in a 
prolonged world-wide crisis of unprecedented di- 
mensions, due primarily to a vast over-production 
of wheat, cotton, rubber, coffee, sugar, etc., caused 
by the lowered buying power of the world's toilers, 
improved methods of production, increased acre- 
age, etc. 

The present economic crisis, despite eventual re- 
covery here and there, will unquestionably intensify 
and spread this condition of chronic industrial stag- 
nation. At the same time that the purchasing 
capacity of the producing masses drops, the ra- 


tionalization of industry is proceeding apace, at 
least on the stronger sectors of capitalism. A. T. 
Sloan says, for example: "As a result of the re- 
adjustment and refinement that is going on, our 
industrial machine is more efficient, more effective 
from every standpoint than ever before in its his- 
tory." 17 That is it exactly; more able than ever 
to flood the sickly market with a fresh mass of un- 
saleable commodities. We can be sure that the 
present economic crisis will involve the older indus- 
tries and weaker sections of capitalist economy into 
still deeper and more permanent stagnation. 

(c) Permanent Mass Unemployment: Through- 
out the leading capitalist countries, as one of the 
most basic features of the growing crisis of capi- 
talism, is an ever-increasing army of unemployed. 
Capitalism, unable to provide work for the work- 
ers, faces permanent mass unemployment on a 
gigantic scale. This tendency was typically illus- 
trated by the large army of jobless in England 
ever since the end of the World War, and by the 
fact that in the United States, even during the 
boom period of 1929, there were at least 3,000,000 
unemployed. In Germany and England it has 
reached the point where many youths graduate 
from school and reach manhood without ever hav- 
ing had a job, and with little prospect of getting 
one. In the present economic crisis this perma- 
nently jobless mass of workers, full of fatal por- 

n New York Times, Jan. 7, 1932. 


tent to capitalism, is being added to by many mil- 
lions. 18 

(d) The Choking of International Trade: One 
of the sure signs of the decline of capitalism is the 
systematic strangling of international trade that is 
now taking place. This is being done principally 
by high tariffs and under slogans of "economic na- 
tionalism" and "autarchy." In their bitter fight 
for markets, the capitalist countries generally have 
adopted the double-phased policy of high tariffs 
and dumping. Tariffs everywhere are at un- 
precedented heights and constantly going higher. 
"Free trade" England has now become a leader in 
this reactionary movement. The general result is 
to greatly intensify the industrial paralysis and 
trade stagnation. The tendency is for each capi- 
talist country to wall itself off from the commerce 
of the others. Mussolini says: "This blockading 
of the free flow of trade has caught hold of the 
world and the grip is placed like that of a power- 
ful wrestler on his adversary. It cannot move its 
component parts and though it writhes and rebels 
it is helpless." 19 Then, to show what a construc- 
tive program Fascism has, he jacks up the Italian 
tariff a few notches and launches a "Buy Italian" 
campaign to match the "Buy British," "Buy 

is Marx (Capital, Vol. I, p. 308) indicated the revolutionary- 
significance of the rapidly growing army of unemployed when he 
said : "A development of the productive forces which would diminish 
the actual number of laborers . . . would cause a revolution, be- 
cause it would put the majority of the population on the shelf." 

i New York American, Dec. 27, 1931. 


French," etc. movements. This "economic na- 
tionalism" cannot lessen, but must intensify the 
general crisis of capitalism. 

(e) The Breakdown of the Medium of Ex- 
change: An important sign of the general weaken- 
ing of capitalism is the breakdown of the medium 
of exchange in the individual countries and inter- 
nationally. More than half of the capitalist world 
is now off the gold standard, and the percentage 
constantly grows; in every capitalist country, in- 
cluding the United States (Finance Reconstruction 
Corporation, etc. ) , various systems of inflating the 
currency are in effect. Not only are the individual 
capitalist countries of themselves unable to main- 
tain a stable currency, but, in their brutal struggles 
with each other, they are breaking down the capi- 
talist exchange medium generally. They fight to 
bankrupt each other. The raid on the mark early 
in 1931 smashed the German and Austrian finan- 
cial system, compelled the United States to grant 
the moratorium, forced Germany and Austria to 
their knees before French imperialism and almost 
provoked a gigantic economic collapse in Central 
Europe. The raid on the pound following soon 
after drove Great Britain off the gold standard, 
wrecked the Labor government and deposed Lon- 
don as the world's money center. Then came the 
raid on the dollar, which cost the United States the 
loss of $500,000,000 in 20 days and which menaces 
the gold standard in this country. All this was 


tied up with the internecine struggle over the ques- 
tion of the international war debts and reparations. 

(f) The Development of Fascism: Another of 
the pronounced symptoms of the decline of capi- 
talism is the growth of Fascism in various forms 
in all capitalist countries. The capitalists, faced 
with the task of drastically slashing the living 
standards of the workers and poor peasants and, 
where the political crisis is acute, the job of trying 
to save the capitalist system itself, no longer find 
adequate their bourgeois "democracy," of which the 
Social Democracy is a part, to hold the rebellious 
masses in check. Consequently, with the aid of the 
Social Democrats, or Social Fascists, 20 they are 
transforming the masked "democratic" capitalist 
dictatorship into open Fascist dictatorship, with its 
extreme demagogy and use of violence against the 
workers and poor peasants. Mussolini is not the 
symbol of a new era of capitalist development, but 
the sign of a decadent system of society vainly try- 
ing to hold back the clock of social progress. 

(g) The Birth of a New World Social System: 
The most significant of all signs of the decline of 
capitalism is the rise of the Union of Socialist 
Soviet Republics. Capitalism no longer stands 
dominant in the world with its only rival the de- 
clining remnants of feudalism. Today it faces a 
new and deadly rival, the forerunner of the new 

20 Communists use the terms "Social Democrat," "Social Fascist" 
and "Social Reformist" practically interchangeably; why, we shall 
see in Chapter IV. 


world social order. The rise of the Soviet Union 
enormously weakens the world capitalist system. 
Capitalism has thereby lost territorially one-sixth 
of the globe, and it is rapidly losing more to the 
Chinese Soviets; it has lost control of the great 
markets and raw materials of what was old Russia ; 
it suffers enormously in loss of prestige in the com- 
parison of its industrial crisis and generally de- 
cadent conditions with the great advance of the 
U.S.S.R.; it confronts the deadly menace of its 
workers inspired and organized by this great ex- 
ample of the success of Socialism. And all these 
losses and dangers for capitalism in the rise of the 
U.S.S.R. will increase as time goes on. 

To the foregoing signs of the growing capitalist 
crisis and decline many more could be added, in- 
cluding the increase of the socially parasitic classes 
of mere bond clippers, the growth of artificial stimu- 
lants for the market such as instalment buying, the 
reversion to pre-capitalist forms of production and 
barter, the smothering of inventions and improved 
methods of production, etc. But most significant 
are the menacing danger of war and the world- wide 
revolutionary upsurge of the toiling masses. 

The War Danger 

WAK is inevitable under the capitalist system. 
Imperialism is the era of great world wars. The 
capitalist imperialists consciously use war as a 


weapon for furthering their interests just as they 
do tariffs and dumping. They cold-bloodedly send 
millions to slaughter in order to eliminate their 
imperialist competitors and to reduce whole popu- 
lations to their programs of exploitation. The 
general crisis of capitalism, with its vastly sharpen- 
ing antagonisms, is fast driving capitalism to a 
new world war; in fact, war is already here, in 
Manchuria and China proper. Only 14 years after 
the great "war to end all war" we stand on the 
brink of a still more frightful shambles. 

How deliberately capitalists consider war as a 
necessary part of their business was shown by the 
New York correspondent of the London Daily 
Telegraph who, on Dec. 23, 1916, wrote: "The 
rumors of peace which were current during the 
last week caused alarm on the New York Exchange 
and a sharp drop in the value of bonds. The price 
of wheat dropped heavily. Everybody is talking 
about the disasters which will occur upon the con- 
clusion of peace." Now the capitalists of the world 
are just as cynically looking to war as the broad 
way out of the present crisis. They see in mass 
murder on the battlefields the way to make busi- 
ness good with bonanza profits for themselves. 
They are circulating propaganda among the un- 
employed workers that war is the only way to re- 
start the crippled industries, to do away with 
unemployment. They prepare war to beat back 
the advancing world revolution, to overthrow the 


Soviet Union. The cynical militarist, General 
William Mitchell, says: "Many nations think that 
at this time a foreign war would do them a great 
deal more good than domestic insurrection and 
revolution." 21 

But capitalism, characteristically, hides its war 
plans behind a mask of pacifism. This is to throw 
dust in the eyes of the masses who would rebel 
against a frank statement of imperialist war aims. 
As the war nears the capitalists multiply their 
camouflage peace conferences, disarmament meets, 
etc., behind which the preparations for war pro- 
ceed ever faster. For modern warfare pacifism is 
just as necessary as airplanes. It is characteristic 
of capitalist pacifist hypocrisy that the principal 
architect of the militaristic French imperialism, 
Briand, is hailed as the great apostle of interna- 
tional peace. 

The League of Nations is not a peace-striving 
institution, as the capitalists and their Social Fas- 
cist flunkeys would have us believe; it is a grouping 
of imperialist bandits intent only upon their own 
schemes of mass exploitation and war making. 
The Kellogg Pact, instead of being, as Nicholas M. 
Butler says, "the supreme act of the age in which 
we live," is a monstrous lure to blind the masses to 
the slaughter that is being prepared. In Man- 
churia, Japan, a member of the League and a 
signer of the Pact, wiped its feet on this "scrap of 

21 Liberty, Jan. 30, 1932. 


paper" and exposed the League of Nations' im- 
perialist character. And what could be more 
bankrupt than the present "disarmament" confer- 
ence of the League now being held in Geneva. 

The Social Fascists and bourgeois pacifists who 
support the various "peace" plans of the capitalist 
governments (while at the same time they vote the 
war budgets) are only catspaws; they play the 
game of imperialism by creating illusions among 
the masses that the warlike capitalist governments 
actually want peace. Only by the mass resistance 
of the workers can the war plans of the capitalists 
be delayed; only when the toiling masses have de- 
feated the world bourgeoisie can war be abolished 

Behind the smoke-screen of pacifism war arma- 
ments pile up. Now they are greater than ever 
before in "peace" times. Over 10,000,000 men are 
now under arms and 35,000,000 are in reserve. 
The total world military expenditures are now 5 
billion dollars yearly, against 2^ billion in 1913, 
with the United States expending far more for its 
armed forces than any other nation. 22 If the price 
index is taken as a basis it is found that since 1928 
military expenditures of the principal powers have 
increased as follows: United States 48%, Japan 
40 % , France 43 % , Italy 25 % . The following fig- 
ures show the large increases in the direct military 

22 "War and its by-products (pensions, etc.) cost the United 
States government $2,201,390,992 during the fiscal year that ended 
last June." United Press dispatch, Feb. 3, 1932. 


outlay of the five great powers, the United States, 
Great Britain, France, Japan and Italy: 

1914 $1,182,000,000 

1923 1,828,000,000 

1928 2,167,000,000 

1930 2,324,000,000 

These huge expenditures are being accompanied 
by an unheard-of militarization and mobilization of 
the masses and the whole industrial system for war. 
New and hideous weapons are constantly being de- 
vised for mass murder; frightful poison gases and 
germ bombs; airplanes, tanks, submarines, etc., a 
hundred times more efficient at wholesale killing of 
human beings than during the World War. The 
decadent capitalist system, fighting to prolong its 
anti-social existence, menaces the very life of the 
peoples with its program of mass slaughter. 

What these murderous war preparations mean is 
indicated by the jingo General Mitchell, who is 
trying to stir up a war against Japan. He says: 
"These (Japanese) towns, built largely of wood 
and paper, form the greatest aerial targets the 
world has ever seen. . . Incendiary projectiles 
would burn the cities to the ground in short order. 
An attack by gas, surging down through the val- 
leys, would completely blot their population out." 23 
And even as I write these lines, Japanese planes 
are bombarding and burning Shanghai, slaughter- 

23 Liberty, Jan. 30, 1932. 


ing thousands of non-combatants. Stuart Chase, 
under the heading, "The Two-Hour War," gives 
a vivid picture of the new capitalist war-makers in 
action : 

"War is declared. Nay, war is only threatened for 
he who speaks first, speaks last. In Bremen, or Calais, 
a thousand men climb into the cockpits of a thousand 
aircraft, and under each is slung a bomb which the pres- 
sure of finger may release. A starting signal, an hour or 
two of flight one muffled roar after another as the 
bombs are dropped per schedule and so, the civiliza- 
tion which gave Bacon, Newton, and Watt to the world, 
comes, in something like half an hour, to a close. Fin- 
ished and done. London, Liverpool, Manchester, Lan- 
cashire, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds. Not even a rat, not 
even an ant, not even a roach, can survive the entire and 
thorough lack of habitability. 24 

The world stands in the most imminent danger 
of such a horrible blood bath. The whole capitalist 
system is a maze of acute war antagonisms, bred 
of and stoked by the increasing general capitalist 
crisis. The deeper the crisis, the more acute the 
war danger. Growing Fascism, with its intense 
nationalism, renders the danger all the sharper. 
The war antagonisms flare up between the various 
capitalist powers, between the imperialist countries 
and the colonial and semi-colonial countries, and 
especially between world imperialism and the 
Soviet Union. In order to preserve their system 
of exploitation the capitalists are proceeding direct 

24 Men and Machines, p. 310. 


to a slaughter, beside which that of 1914-18 will 
seem pale, and which may well result in the de- 
struction of the capitalist system. But, of this, 
more anon. 

Among the great capitalist powers there exist 
many antagonisms, any of which may produce a 
devastating war, and these antagonisms constantly 
become more acute under the pressure of the deep- 
ening crisis of capitalism. Of them the more 
important are: the struggle between the United 
States and Great Britain for world imperialist 
hegemony; 25 the conflict between the United States 
and the rising system of French imperialism; the 
four-cornered fight between the United States, 
Japan, Great Britain and France for domination 
of the Far East; the struggle between Great 
Britain and France for financial supremacy and 
general leadership in Europe; the struggle of 
France and her vassal States (Poland, Rumania, 
Czecho- Slovakia, etc.) to choke Germany into 
submission and to hang on to their Versailles 
Treaty blood booty; the sharp antagonisms between 
France and Italy over control of the Mediter- 
ranean area ; the tangle of potential war conflicts in 
the Balkans; and, of present special acuteness, the 
struggle between the United States and Japan for 
imperialist control in the Far East. In short, 
world capitalism presents the picture of a medley 

25 For the vast ramifications of this great struggle see Ludwell 
Denny's America Conquers Britain. 


of hostile imperialist groupings preparing inevi- 
tably to cut each other's throats, and if they have 
not already done so it has been chiefly from fear of 
revolutionary upheavals of the workers. 

The antagonisms between the imperialist coun- 
tries and the colonial and semi-colonial countries 
likewise grow constantly more sharp. Stalin 
says: "The European bourgeoisie is in a state of 
war with 'its' colonies in India, Indo-China, Indo- 
nesia and Northern Africa." 26 One of the basic 
indications of the growing decline of world capi- 
talism is the weakening of the hegemony of the 
imperialist powers over the colonial countries, the 
necessity of the imperialists to use more and more 
armed force against the colonies. These growing 
conflicts are caused primarily by the attempts of 
the imperialist countries to shift the burden of the 
crisis onto the colonial countries by means of in- 
tensified exploitation of the peasants and workers, 
tariffs, high taxes, the crippling of local industry, 
etc., all backed by imperialist troops, and by the 
rebellion of the colonial masses against this im- 
poverishment. Great Britain, in increasing col- 
lision with its dominions, Canada, South Africa, 
Australia and Ireland, over the tariff and other 
questions, proceeds with armed force, under the 
leadership of the "Socialist" MacDonald, to crush 
rebellious India. France maintains its grip peri- 

2 Speech at the XVI Congress of the Communist Party of the 
Soviet Union. 


lously upon Indo-China by "fiercest terror, mass 
shootings, the annihilation of whole villages by 
French occupational troops." Japan carries out 
its colonial policy by the armed conquest of Man- 
churia. And American imperialism, to hang onto 
its great Latin- American hinterland, finds neces- 
sary an ever-greater terrorism by its puppet gov- 
ernments in Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Salvador, the 
Philippines, etc. In all these situations lurks the 
danger of sudden and far-reaching war. 

But the greatest and most imminent of war 
dangers is that between world imperialism and the 
Soviet Union. This antagonism is the most fun- 
damental of all economic, political and social con- 
flicts. The major political objective of world capi- 
talism is to overthrow the Soviet government. The 
capitalists' central world strategy is to bridge over 
their own contradictions sufficiently to enable them 
to make a united front in war against the first 
Workers' Republic. Ingrained in the very fibre 
of world imperialism is the slogan, "Death to the 
Soviet Union." This is the struggle between two 
antagonistic world systems, capitalism and Social- 
ism. It grows ever sharper with the deepening of 
the general capitalist crisis. Upon this central 
contradiction capitalism will eventually break its 
worthless neck. 

In 1918-20, at the very birth of the Soviet gov- 
ernment, France, Great Britain, United States, 
Germany, Japan, Czecho- Slovakia, Poland, etc., 


sent their armies against the revolutionary Rus- 
sians. But these armed assaults were defeated by 
the Soviet forces. The imperialist powers, faced 
by dauntless revolutionary soldiers, fearing revolu- 
tion at home and learning to their dismay that 
their armies of workers and peasants often mu- 
tinied rather than fight against the Russians (this 
being the case also with the 310th United States 
Infantry at Archangel), had to abandon for the 
time being their program of violent overthrow of 
the Soviets. 

But the capitalist powers did not give up 
their counter-revolutionary determination. With 
French and American gold they built a steel 
row of armed Fascist States along the Rus- 
sian border; they established an economic, finan- 
cial and political boycott against the Soviets; they 
sabotaged the Russian industries from within; they 
worked ceaselessly with their Social Fascist tools 
to discredit the Soviet Union among the workers 
of the world, as a preparation for a new armed 
attack. With the manifest success of the Soviet 
regime, especially the great victories of the Five- 
Year Plan, the capitalists have redoubled the at- 
tacks against the Soviet government. They have 
flooded the world with anti-Russian propaganda 
charges of red imperialism, dumping, forced la- 
bor, red plots, religious persecution, etc. France 
has been the most militant in all this. Hardly less 
active also is the United States, with its policy of 


non-recognition, trade restriction, financial block- 
ade, Fish committee propaganda, etc. ; this country, 
the world center of capitalism, has always viewed 
with undisguised hatred the world center of Com- 
munism, the U.S.S.R. 

In 1929 the imperialists made an effort to pro- 
voke an anti- Soviet war by the seizure of the Chi- 
nese Eastern Railroad through subsidized Chinese 
generals. But this was defeated by the prompt 
and victorious action of the Red Army. And the 
exposures made in the famous trials of the In- 
dustrial Party and the Mensheviks broke up the 
plans for an armed intervention against the 
U.S.S.R., scheduled to take place in the Spring 
of 1931 under the leadership of the French Gen- 
eral Staff. Doubtless, the great stores of wheat 
assembled at that time by the Federal Farm Board 
were to have been used to provision this war. 

Now, in the Manchurian invasion by Japan, 
world imperialism is developing a new and still 
more dangerous attack against the Soviet Union. 
In its present imperialist war against the Chinese, 
Japan has clearly in mind the following objectives: 
( 1 ) , the dismemberment of China and the capture 
of its markets; (2), the crushing of the rapidly 
spreading Chinese Soviets; (3), the establishment 
of a strong base in Manchuria from which to 
launch an early attack upon the Soviet Union. 
The deliberation with which Japan is developing 
this strategy against the U.S.S.R. is indicated by 


the following quotation from a memorandum pre- 
sented on July 25, 1927, by the then-Premier, 
Tanaka, to the Mikado : 

"The Chinese Eastern Railway will become ours just 
as the South Manchurian Railway became ours, and we 
shall seize Kirin as we seized Dairen. It seems that the 
inevitability of crossing swords with Russia on the fields 
of Mongolia in order to gain possession of the wealth of 
North Manchuria is part of our program of national de- 

While the general strategy of world imperialism 
is to develop the attack against the Soviet Union, 
this does not go forward on the basis of a solid bloc 
or united front of all its leaders with Japan, spear- 
head of imperialism, in China. This is because 
the violent antagonisms between the imperialist 
powers prevent such a firm unity. France, which 
actively prepares the offensive against the 
U.S.S.R. through Poland, etc., is solidly united 
with Japan and supports it. But England man- 
euvers against France and Japan and has its eye 
on its Chinese interests, especially in the Shanghai 
district. As for the United States, it views with 
alarm the strengthening of its traditional enemy in 
the Pacific, Japan. 

But all these powers are violent enemies of the 
Soviet Union, and their mutual antagonisms do 
not prevent the development of the imperialist at- 
tack generally against the U.S.S.R. In the In- 


ter -national Press Correspondence, Mar. 10, 1932, 
a writer puts the situation thus : 

"The sharpness of the imperialist antagonisms renders 
difficult the formation of new groupings of power. But 
as the Japanese campaign in Manchuria and in the 
Yangtse valley shows it not only does not form an in- 
surmountable obstacle to the immediate war preparations 
but is also no obstacle preventing the world from creep- 
ing into the world war, into military intervention against 
the Soviet Union. As experience shows, these groupings 
are formed at the outbreak and partly even in the course 
of war, in the carrying out of military operations." 

The danger of imperialist war against the 
U.S.S.R. is now most acute. The imperialist ban- 
dits are trying to force the Soviet Union into the 
Manchurian war. That is the purpose of Japan's 
studied insolence and provocation, its massing of 
troops on the Soviet border, its organization of the 
counter-revolutionary White Russians. And the 
significance of the attempted assassination of 
the Japanese ambassador in Moscow by Vanek, a 
Czecho-Slovakian diplomat, was that France tried 
to organize another Sarajevo. Only the steadfast 
peace policy of the Soviet Union has prevented its 
being enmeshed in war. But there is a limit to 
such provocation. As Molotov says: "We do not. 
need an inch of any other country's land; but 
neither will we give up an inch of ours." 

The capitalists clearly intend to thrust war upon 
the Soviet Union. Their offensive may easily 


come during 1932. The deepening general crisis 
of their own system and the growing successes of 
the U.S.S.R. inevitably drive them on to this war. 
It is a situation that should arouse every worker 
to fight against the robber war on China, and to 
rally in defense of the Soviet Union. When the 
capitalists, to save their bankrupt system, launch 
their armed attack upon the U.S.S.R. to destroy 
its new Socialism, they must be taught a revolu- 
tionary lesson from which their system of robbery 
and misery will never recover. 

The World-Wide Revolutionary Upsurge. 

THE MOST basic indication of the growing general 
crisis of capitalism and its decline as the social or- 
der is the increasing revolutionary upsurge 
throughout the world. The toiling millions, find- 
ing it impossible to live in the starvation condi- 
tions everywhere developing, are gradually getting 
ready to wipe out capitalism and to establish So- 
cialism. In his profound analysis of capitalist 
society, Marx says : 

"Along with the constantly diminishing number of the 
magnates of capital . . . grows the mass of misery, op- 
pression, slavery, degradation, exploitation, but with this 
grows the revolt of the working class, a class always in- 
creasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by 
the very mechanism of capitalist production itself." 27 
*7 Capital, Vol. I, p. 836. 


Reformist Socialists have always violently at- 
tacked this conception of growing working class 
pauperization and revolt. They have put in its 
stead their own theory of the gradual rise in the 
standards of the workers and their progressive 
acceptance of capitalist evolution as the way to So- 
cialism. For a period, during the rise of impe- 
rialism in the leading industrial countries, bringing 
about improved conditions for the labor aristoc- 
racy, largely at the expense of the exploited co- 
lonial masses, the workings of Marx's principle 
were somewhat obscured. The opportunist Social- 
ists were able to lend an air of plausibility to their 
bourgeois theories about the advancing standards 
of the working class under capitalism. 

But now, with the development of the general 
crisis of capitalism, the truth of Marx's formula- 
tion stands out with crystal clearness. Truly, as 
the Communist Manifesto says, "pauperism de- 
velops more rapidly than population and wealth," 
and "it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit 
any longer to be the ruling class in society . . . 
because it is incompetent to assure an existence to 
its slave in his slavery, because it cannot help let- 
ting him sink into such a state that it has to feed 
him, instead of being fed by him." That is, on the 
one hand, as we have already seen, there is mass 
impoverishment developing upon the most gigantic 
scale, and on the other, as we shall now indicate, 


there is the growing revolt of the workers, so 
clearly foreseen by Marx. 

The revolutionary upsurge of the workers and 
peasants is worldwide. It varies in intensity, 
corresponding to the uneven development of capi- 
talism in the several countries, from intensified 
strike movements to actual struggles for power. 
Its tempo is greatly increased by the deepening of 
the capitalist crisis. Hoover had a smell of its 
significance when, in his message to Congress on 
Dec. 8, 1931, he informs us that: "Within two 
years there have been revolutions or acute social 
disorders in 19 countries, embracing more than half 
the population of the world." The resolution of 
the XI Plenum of the Executive Committee of the 
Communist International, (April, 1931), thus 
analyses the situation: 

"There has been a further increase in the revolutionary 
upsurge bound up with the sharp reduction in the stand- 
ard of living of the working class, the monstrous develop- 
ment of unemployment, the ruination of the office workers 
and urban petty bourgeoisie, the mass robbery of the 
peasantry, the extreme impoverishment of the colonies 
and the growing revolutionizing role of the U.S.S.R. 

"The growing revolutionary upsurge found expression 
in: (a) the further intensification of the strike struggle 
and the unemployment movement, (b), the development 
and strengthening of Soviets and of the Red Army over 
a considerable area in China, (c), the growth of the revo- 
lutionary movement in the colonies, (d), the development 
of the revolutionary peasant movement, (e), the growth 


of the political and organizational influence of a number 
of important Communist Parties (Germany, China, 
Czecho-Slovakia, Poland), (f), the sharp intensification 
of oppositional ferments within the Social Democracy, 
(g), the growth of an opposition among the petty bour- 
geois masses of the towns, office employees and civil 


In the months since the foregoing was written 
the revolutionary upsurge has been accelerated on 
every front. In the industrial countries of Eu- 
rope the strike movement has been greatly broad- 
ened and intensified, in spite of the efforts of the 
powerfully intrenched Socialists to stifle all strug- 
gle. The strikes are more numerous, they include 
more workers and they are more militantly carried 
on. During this period one of the most striking 
events was the mutiny of the British Navy sailors 
against a wage-cut. This affair sent a shiver along 
the spine of the world bourgeoisie. 

The United States is not exempt from the de- 
veloping world-wide movement of struggle. 
American workers, faced by intolerable conditions, 
are also exhibiting the characteristic signs of radi- 
calization. During 1931 the number of strikers 
doubled over the previous year. A series of im- 
portant strikes have been carried on (coal miners 
in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, 
Kentucky and the anthracite districts, textile work- 
ers in Lawrence, Allentown, Paterson, etc.) in 
spite of the rankest betrayal by the A. F. of L. 


leadership, all these strikes being very militant in 
character. The unemployed are also showing 
increased radicalization, indicated by such im- 
portant movements as the National Hunger March, 
the Ford Hunger March, the big demonstrations 
in Chicago, Cleveland, etc.; notwithstanding the 
extreme brutality of the police, nine workers hav- 
ing been killed in the three latter movements. The 
Negro workers, in strikes and unemployment 
movements, have been distinguished for their mili- 
tancy, the Camp Hill and Scottsboro outrages be- 
ing attempts of local authorities to terrify them. 
Among the skilled workers a striking demonstra- 
tion of the radicalization taking place is the rank 
and file referendum of unemployment insurance in 
the A. F. of L., a movement involving hundreds of 
thousands of workers and going directly contrary 
to the policy of the reactionary leadership. These 
are only a few indications of the deep-going radi- 
calization now taking place among the American 
working class. But, of this subject, more will be 
said in Chapter IV. 

In Germany events are moving towards a revo- 
lutionary political crisis. The masses of workers, 
in spite of Socialist treachery and Fascist repres- 
sion, are preparing to free themselves from the 
tyranny of the Versailles Treaty and its Young 
Plan, and with it, from the capitalist system itself. 
The Communist party, rapidly growing, now 
counts almost five million votes. The proletarian 


revolution advances irresistibly in Germany. It 
is in the vain hope of defeating it that the employ- 
ers are building up Fascism through the Social 
Fascists, the Bruening government and the Hitler 

Poland is another country where the revolution 
begins to menace capitalism. The industrial and 
agrarian crises are acute. More than half the 
workers are either wholly or partly unemployed. 
One wave of wage-cuts follows another. The 
peasants are expropriated in masses for non-pay- 
ment of rent. The country is burdened with 
militarism. The various national minorities are 
ruthlessly repressed. The country is stagnant 
from the loss of its former Russian markets. In 
this situation the Communist party, in spite of the 
ferocious terror of Pilsudski and Social Fascist 
treachery, steadily gains ground. The workers 
and peasants are becoming rapidly revolutionized. 
Great strikes, unemployment demonstrations and 
anti-tax and rent movements in the villages develop 
in rapid succession. There is a revolutionary 
storm brewing. 

Spain is also a country where capitalism faces 
a developing revolutionary crisis. The producing 
masses suffer intolerable exploitation and misery 
from capitalist and semi-feudal conditions. The 
first phase of their revolt swept away the mon- 
archy; now it turns sharply against capitalism it- 
self. Social Fascist, Anarchist and Syndicalist 


illusions still act as a brake on the movement, but 
the revolutionary Communist party constantly be- 
comes stronger. The recent seizure of many towns 
and villages and the hoisting of the red flag are 
forerunners of the revolutionary struggle that is 
on its way. 

Throughout the whole Asian colonial and semi- 
colonial world the revolutionary upsurge manifests 
itself upon a gigantic scale. The basic trend of 
the hundreds of millions of toilers in these countries 
is towards Socialism, not capitalism. The efforts 
of the national bourgeoisie, led by the Gandhis, 
Chang Kai Sheks, etc., to build up a powerful 
capitalism shatter themselves upon the rocks of the 
world industrial and agrarian crisis, the determina- 
tion of the imperialists (to whom the native bour- 
geoisie always surrenders) to prevent the in- 
dustrialization of the colonies, and the revolu- 
tionary struggles of the vast masses of incredibly 
exploited and impoverished workers and peasants. 
Under the increasing leadership of the Communist 
International, these revolutionary national strug- 
gles develop more and more, not only into fights 
again American, British, Japanese, French and 
Dutch imperialist domination, but against the whole 
capitalist system. Asia is now undergoing pro- 
found revolutionary developments. 

In China, 70,000,000 people are already living 
under the Provisional Chinese Soviet government, 
organized Nov. 7, 1931. The Chinese Red Army 


controls one-sixth of China and is constantly 
spreading its influence. It is now hammering at 
the gates of Hankow. Strikes and peasant move- 
ments develop in many other parts of China. The 
prestige of the Kuomintang diminishes ; that of the 
Communist party rises. "Everywhere a decided 
swing to the left is evident" said a New York Times 
Chinese correspondent on Jan. 20, 1931. And 11 
days later another said in the same paper : "Again 
the Communists are making rapid progress in or- 
ganizing town and country Soviets as rapidly as 
they overrun new territory . . . the peasants and 
common people are giving a hearty welcome to the 
returning Communists. They say that after com- 
paring their status under previous Communist rule 
with the bad government and confiscatory taxation 
enforced upon them after the arrival of the Nan- 
king troops last Summer, they enjoyed greater lib- 
erty and a greater degree of prosperity under the 
Reds than under Nanking." It was largely the 
fear of the growing Chinese revolution, its tre- 
mendous effect upon the vast millions of Asia, the 
danger of a great Russian-Chinese Soviet Union, 
that determined the imperialists upon their present 
war to partition China and to lay the basis for an 
attack upon the Soviet Union. 

In India the revolutionary struggle, while not 
so advanced as in China, rapidly gains momentum. 
The masses of peasants and workers are beginning 
to break with the counter-revolutionary non-re- 


sistance policies of Gandhi, which paralyze their 
struggle and enable a handful of British troops to 
rule the country. The failure of the London 
Round Table Conference is being followed by a 
great intensification of revolutionary activity in 
India. Over 50,000 "politicals" are in jail. The 
newly-organized Communist party consolidates 
itself and strengthens its position. Great strikes, 
militant peasant movements, etc., which sharpen 
to the point of armed clashes with the government, 
are the order of the day in India. And the revo- 
lutionary blaze will spread, despite the announced 
policy of the "Socialist" Ramsay MacDonald's gov- 
ernment to "make a desert out of India." British 
imperialism and Indian capitalism have nothing to 
offer the Indian workers and peasants but starva- 
tion; and the inevitable reply of the latter will be 

In Indo-China, controlled by French imperial- 
ism, a similar revolutionary foment exists. De- 
spite terrific repression by French troops, there is 
a growing wave of strikes, mutinies, seizures of 
food supplies and local governments, leading to 
armed conflicts and guerilla warfare. In the 
North, where the influence of the Chinese revo- 
lution is strong, there has been the formation of 
local Soviets. This deepening revolutionary move- 
ment is mainly under the leadership of the Com- 
munist party. 

In Latin America there is also to be seen the 


growing revolutionary foment common to all co- 
lonial and semi-colonial countries, although not yet 
in such acute form as in Asia. The conditions of 
the workers and peasants, in the deep industrial 
and agrarian crises, go from bad to worse. A 
growth of revolutionary spirit is everywhere evi- 
dent. During the past three years many govern- 
ments in South America have been overthrown by 
coups d'etat. While these "palace revolutions" 
were largely engineered by American and British 
imperialism in their struggles against each other, 
they nevertheless had as a background the discon- 
tent of the masses. This discontent, by under- 
mining the strength and prestige of the existing 
governments, made it easy for rival imperialist 
agents to overthrow them. In recent months, how- 
ever, the struggles in Latin America assume a more 
revolutionary character. The working class and 
radicalized peasantry are developing real mass 
movements. The Communist parties are becoming 
more and more the leaders. This development of 
revolutionary struggle in Latin America is exem- 
plified, among other events, by the Chilean Navy 
mutiny and general strike, the Peruvian general 
strikes and armed struggles, the big Cuban strikes 
and the revolutionary struggles in Salvador. In 
the latter upheaval, for the first time in the West- 
ern Hemisphere, local Soviets were established. 
We may expect further and still more important 


revolutionary developments in Latin America in 
the near future. 

The Revolutionary Perspective 

THE GENERAL capitalist crisis heads inevitably, but 
not at the same speed in all countries, towards the 
revolutionary overthrow of the world capitalist 
system. To the American with a bourgeois out- 
look, such a perspective will seem remote indeed. 
The American capitalism that he comes in contact 
with appears strong and no revolutionary danger 
seems to loom from the toiling masses. But the 
perspective of revolution in general and in the 
United States in particular cannot be determined 
simply upon the basis of the present situation in 
this country. American capitalism is part of the 
world capitalist system, subject to its general laws 
and bound up with its fate. This is the first point 
to be borne in mind. 

The second is Lenin's theory of the "weakest 
link." The world capitalist system, as Marx has 
taught us, is not of uniform strength in all its parts. 
Hence, because of its uneven development in point 
of time, extent, etc., in the several countries, it is 
like a chain of stronger and weaker links. The 
revolution advances, not by breaking the chain si- 
multaneously everywhere, but by beginning the 
break at the weakest links. Old Russia was such a 


weak link and the Russian revolution was such a 

The capitalist chain, with the progress of the 
general capitalist crisis, is becoming full of weak 
links. The entire chain is weakening. As we 
have seen, among the especially weak links are 
Germany, Spain, Poland, China, India, etc. So 
far has the capitalist crisis developed in these 
countries that the toiling masses may make a 
revolutionary break through at any time, with 
disastrous results upon the whole chain. Such 
revolutionary breaks may come either as an ac- 
companiment of imperialist war, or by the ma- 
turing gradually of the inner contradictions of 
capitalism in a given country, culminating in a 
struggle for power by the workers and toiling 
masses. And world capitalism is faced with im- 
minent danger from both these directions, which 
are, of course, intimately related to each other. 

The revolutionary danger to the capitalist sys- 
tem from the developing war situation is acute and 
menacing. If and when the imperialist powers 
launch a great war among themselves we may be 
sure that in many countries the workers and 
peasants, following the famous strategy of Lenin 
and under the leadership of the Communist Inter- 
national, will transform the imperialist war into 
a civil war against the capitalist system. The 
World War of 1914-18 resulted in the formation 


of the first Soviet Republic; another great war 
can well produce a Soviet Europe. 

Capitalism will run no less a danger for its 
existence when it launches its eventual attack upon 
the Soviet Union. The Japanese were astounded 
at the brave resistance put up by the half -armed 
Chinese soldiers in Shanghai, fighting to defend 
their country from imperialist invasion. And the 
capitalist powers that attack the Soviet Union will 
be doubly and fatally surprised when they go 
against the Red Army. They will learn that their 
drafted masses of workers and peasants will have 
no taste to fight their Russian brothers; they will 
find out also that revolutionary soldiers fighting 
for Socialism are worth many times their number 
of toiler soldiers pressed into the service of capi- 
talism. The capitalists will learn, finally, that 
they will have to face their aroused workers at 
home, for the defense of the Soviet Union will 
be carried out not only by the Red Army but by 
the militant working class all over the world. And 
the way this job will be done will bode ill for capi- 

But the development of the revolution does not 
depend upon the initiation of imperialist war. As 
we have remarked, it also grows out of the sharp- 
ening of the economic and eventually political 
crisis within the given countries. This revolution- 
ary process now goes ahead on a world scale with 
the deepening of the general crisis of capitalism. 


We have seen how rapidly the revolution ap- 
proaches in this way in Germany and other 

The proletarian revolution in Germany would 
be a deadly blow to the whole capitalist system 
throughout the world. Such a revolution would 
in all probability draw with it Poland and other 
countries on the Russian border. Thus, with the 
U.S.S.R., there would be created a gigantic Soviet 
bloc. This great Soviet Union, supported by the 
growing revolutionary movement in the remaining 
capitalist countries, would be well able to defend 
itself from the inevitable military attacks of the 
capitalist imperialists. More than that, it would 
certainly be in a dominant world position as against 
the decadent capitalist system. The center of 
gravity in the world relation of class forces would 
be shifted definitely on the side of the revolution. 
These far-reaching possibilities are now, with the 
sharpening of the crisis in Germany, already within 
the scope of practical political perspectives. 

When the situation is thus looked at from the 
Marxist-Leninist conception of capitalism as a 
world economy, when it is realized that the capital- 
ist system is like a chain of stronger and weaker 
links, and when it is seen how imminent a revolu- 
tionary break becomes in some of these links, and 
how disastrous to world capitalism such a break 
would be, then the perspective for the American 
revolution looms up in a quite different manner 


than though we kept our eyes fastened solely upon 
the immediate situation in this country. Ameri- 
can capitalism, like capitalism in other countries, 
is travelling the same road to revolution. The 
chronological order of the United States' entry 
into the developing revolution is, as yet, a matter of 
speculation; but it would be sheer assumption to 
conclude that because this is the strongest capi- 
talist country, it will be the last to go into revo- 
lution. One day, despite the disbelief of the 
capitalists and of their still more cynical Social 
Fascist lackeys, the American workers will demon- 
strate that they, like the Russians, have the intelli- 
gence, courage and organization to carry through 
the revolution. The American capitalist class, 
like that of other countries, is living on the brink 
of a volcano which, sooner than it dreams, is going 
to explode. George Bernard Shaw is right: the 
time will surely come when the victorious toilers 
will build a monument to Lenin in New York. 

It is upon the background of this growing gen- 
eral crisis of capitalism that the present economic 
crisis develops. That is why it is of such un- 
precedented scope, depth and duration. Those 
who compare the prevailing crisis with the cycli- 
cal crises of the pre-war period are deluding them- 
selves, living in a realm of false hopes. The 
pre-war economic crises developed during the 
period of the upward trend of capitalism ; the pres- 
ent one, although retaining the cyclical character, 


occurs during the decline of capitalism. The 
former liquidated themselves into wider circles of 
capitalist growth; the latter leads to deepening 
crisis and decay. 

In view of all this, the questions arise: can the 
capitalists secure even a temporary respite from 
the onward march of the revolution by a revival of 
industry ? Is the present one the last crisis of 
capitalism ? In answering these questions there 
must be borne in mind the considerations that, 
first, the present economic crisis is of a cyclical 
character, and, second, the question of the relation 
of forces between the working class and the capi- 
talist class, with the possibility of breaks at weak 
links in the capitalist chain where the working class 
takes the revolutionary path. Where there is no 
strong revolutionary movement the capitalists will 
find a way out at the expense of the toiling masses ; 
that is, the economic crisis, following the laws of 
cyclical crises, will eventually wear itself out by 
reducing production, slashing prices and wages and 
drastically reducing the living standards of the 

But that such a turn will come soon or extend 
far is doubtful. Already, as we have seen, in the 
deepening general capitalist crisis, whole sections 
of the capitalist economy have fallen into more or 
less chronic paralysis, and the tendency is for this 
paralysis to spread. The economic crises become 


more frequent, more widespread and more lasting. 
Varga points out, in illustrating the severity of 
the present crisis, that contrary to all previous 
experience: "so far there has been in general no 
diminution of visible (world) stocks; nay, some 
commodities even having increased in this re- 
spect." 28 Any recovery, therefore, that may be 
registered from the present economic crisis can, 
at most, be only very partial and temporary in 
character. It must soon be followed by another 
crash still more far-reaching and devastating to the 
capitalist system. 

Capitalism is doomed. The capitalist system of 
private ownership of industry and land, produc- 
tion for profit, and exploitation of the workers is 
reaching the end of its course. It has outlived its 
historic mission. In its earlier stages capitalism 
was a progressive system; it constituted an ad- 
vance over feudalism, which preceded it. Under 
capitalism there has been built an industrial sys- 
tem, at least in the imperialist countries ; industrial 
technique has been developed; the proletariat has 
been created and disciplined. But even the lim- 
ited progress that capitalism has accomplished for 
humanity has been achieved at the cost of incred- 
ible misery, poverty, ignorance and slaughter of 
the working class. 

Capitalism has created the objective conditions 
for Socialism. But it can go no further. It can- 

28 International Press Correspondence, Mar. 10, 1932. 


not carry society to higher stages of development, 
to Socialism and Communism; it has become an 
obstacle in the upward path of humanity, a means 
of condemning hundreds of millions of people to 
mass starvation and death. History will soon 
sweep aside this obsolete system. Capitalism has 
provided its own executioners and grave diggers, 
the proletariat. The workers and peasants of the 
world are getting ready for their great social task 
of abolishing capitalism and establishing Social- 
ism. They are freeing themselves from the illu- 
sion that capitalism provides the way to prosperity; 
they are gradually breaking the leadership of the 
MacDonalds, Gandhis, and other similar mislead- 
ers; under the banner of the Communist Interna- 
tional they are securing revolutionary organization 
and program. In due season they will break 
through the Social Fascist and Fascist trickery and 
violence with which decadent capitalism sustains 
itself. World capitalist society is heading irre- 
sistibly towards the proletarian revolution. 



Now LET us turn away from the decaying, declin- 
ing capitalist system, with its mounting mass 
misery, exploitation, war and Fascist terrorism, 
and look at the new rising system of Socialism in 
the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. No 
longer is Socialism, which is the first stage of 
Communism, only a theory; no longer is it simply 
the aspiration of an oppressed working class. 
Now it is a living, growing reality. Operating 
simultaneously in the world with capitalism, it is 
showing in the everyday demonstration of life its 
immense superiority in every field over the obso- 
lete capitalist system. The very existence of the 
Soviet Union has a profoundly revolutionizing 
effect upon the working class. It is the growing 
hope and strong leader of a working world pre- 
paring to strike off the shackles of the murderous 
capitalist system. 

The workers and peasants of the Soviet Union 
have overthrown the capitalist State and have set 
up their Soviet government. They have abolished 

capitalist ownership of industry and land and are 



building a great system of socialized industry and 
agriculture. They have done away completely 
with all exploitation of the toiling masses by own- 
ing, ruling classes. These fundamental political 
and economic measures are the substance of the 
revolution. They solve the many contradictions 
of capitalism and they open the door to an era of 
general prosperity, freedom and cultural advance 
hitherto completely unknown to the world. 

In the Soviet Union, where the economic and 
political foundations of Socialism have been laid, 
production is carried on for the social good, not for 
the profit of an exploiting class. What deter- 
mines the character and volume of production is 
not whether capitalists can sell it at a profit for 
themselves in a clogged market, but the needs of 
the masses of people. Socialism thus liquidates 
the basic contradiction that is, the production of 
social necessities for private profit out of 
which originates all the miseries and chaos of capi- 
talism. Socialism thus revolutionizes the aim of 
production from production for profitable sale to 
production for social use. In so doing it frees 
humanity from the narrow limits of capitalist 
economy and embarks upon a totally new era of 
social development. 

This social advance is made in an orderly and 
intelligent way. Socialism abolishes the chaos and 
anarchy of capitalist production and social organ- 
ization; it does away with the dog-eat-dog com- 


petition of capitalist industry, breeder of industrial 
crises and war. It sets up instead a planned sys- 
tem of economy in harmony with the national and 
international character of modern industry and 
social relationships. Only under Socialism, with 
its great nationalized industries and collectivized 
agriculture, is such a scientific planned economy 
possible and inevitable. 

In the Soviet Union this systematic advance on 
every social front is proceeding under the famous 
Five- Year Plan. In a world thrown into deepen- 
ing disorder and demoralization by its growing 
general crisis, the superiority of the system of 
planned Socialist economy stands out like a great 
mountain. Even the capitalists themselves are 
compelled to recognize it and they try vainly to 
adapt it to the capitalist system. The correspond- 
ent of the New York Times only voices an almost 
universal opinion when he says: "The Soviet 
leaders know precisely what they want and are 
doing it, in sharp contrast to the rest of the world 
where leadership seems to be a lost art." 

The Five- Year Plan constitutes a gigantic mobi- 
lization of the social forces of a great nation for an 
organized general forward movement. It covers 
the most diverse phases of social activity, stimulat- 
ing them all into expansion and systematic de- 
velopment. Ilin says of it : 

"The Five- Year Plan is a project: not of one factory, 
but of two thousand four hundred factories. And not 


only of factories, but also of cities, of electric stations, of 
bridges, of ships, of railroads, of mines, of state farms, 
of rural communes, of schools, of our libraries. It is a 
project for the rebuilding of our whole country, and was 
prepared, not by one man or by two men, but by thou- 
sands of trained persons. To the work of building came 
not tens, but millions of workers. All of us will help to 
build the Five- Year Plan." 1 

The Five- Year Plan deals with industry, agri- 
culture and the transportation and communica- 
tion systems, calculating the resources of these 
branches of economy, and providing for their de- 
velopment in every direction. It deals with the 
questions of housing, with the building of hospitals, 
etc. It provides for the maximum production and 
distribution of foodstuffs, expanding the new food 
industries in every part of the country. It figures 
out the number of workers required for production 
and plans their mobilization. It determines the 
total wage funds, including those for the cultural 
needs of the workers, for social insurance, etc. It 
makes provision for an organized development of 
science backed by the resources of the government. 
It calculates the national income and bases its 
whole program thereon. Besides the general Five- 
Year Plan, or rather within the framework of it, 
every city and every factory also has its own plan 
of organized work and development. The great 
Five- Year Plan is not simply an expedient for the 

i The New Russian Primer, p. 5. 


present building of the Soviet economy; it repre- 
sents the basic, planned method native to Socialist 
society and foreseen by Marx two generations ago. 
Planned economy is one of the great contributions 
of Socialism to humanity. 

Flourishing Bolshevik Industries 

IN THE Soviet Union there is taking place an 
unparalleled growth in production. As Louis 
Fischer says : "The Soviet frontier is like a charmed 
circle which the world economic crisis cannot 
cross. While banks crash, while production falls 
and trade languishes abroad, the Soviet Union 
continues in an orgy of construction and national 
development. The scale and speed of its progress 
are unprecedented." 2 This huge and rapid de- 
velopment, this immunity from the devastating 
world economic crisis, is possible because Socialism 
by its very nature provides the basis for a steady 
and enormous expansion of the productive forces. 
Capitalism, as we have seen, robs the toilers of 
a large share of what they produce. This cripples 
their purchasing power, making the markets lag 
behind the more rapidly expanding productive 
forces, and thereby causing over-production and 
economic crisis. It also, finally, puts positive re- 
strictions upon the development of the productive 
forces themselves. 

2 The Nation, Nov. 25, 1931. 


But under Socialism there is no exploitation and 
the masses as a whole get the full value of what 
they produce after the deduction, of course, of 
what is necessary for the maintenance of the gov- 
ernment and the further extension of industry 
consequently, their purchasing power cannot fall 
behind production, but, on the contrary, tends con- 
stantly to stimulate it by the ever-increasing de- 
mand due to the rising standards of living. There 
can be no clogging of the social economy with 
unsaleable surpluses of commodities. The way is 
wide open for continuous industrial growth. The 
economic crisis is a capitalist thing foreign to So- 
cialist society. The experience in the U.S.S.R. 
proves this beyond question. Not even the fact 
that the Soviet Union has to trade with capitalist 
countries, and therefore feels the heavy downpull 
of their sagging industries and declining prices, 
has been able to disrupt its fundamentally sound 
Socialist economy. 

The existence in the Soviet Union of this con- 
stant and huge impulse for the development of the 
productive forces explains why it has no unemploy- 
ment and why its industries are developing at a 
pace totally unequalled in the whole world history 
of industry. Stalin thus indicates the fundamental 
superiority of Socialism over capitalism in the de- 
velopment of the productive forces: 

"Here in the U.S.S.R., the growth of consumption 
(purchasing capacity) of the masses constantly outruns 


the growth of production and stimulates it, while there, 
under the capitalists, on the contrary, the growth of con- 
sumption of the masses (purchasing capacity) never keeps 
pace with the growth of production and constantly lags 
behind it, again and again condemning production to 
crises." 3 

When the Soviet government launched the Five- 
Year Plan, which proposed to triple pre-war 
industrial production and to make huge advances 
on every social front, it was greeted with a world 
chorus of ridicule by the capitalists and their re- 
tainers. It was one grand laughing stock. "The 
Bolsheviks," the argument went, "are losing their 
grip upon the masses, so now, to hold on a bit 
longer, they come forward with this fantastic 
project." Especially the Social Democrats dis- 
tinguished themselves in "proving" the "absurdity" 
of the Five- Year Plan. Kramer, President of the 
Union of German Industrialists, typically ex- 
pressed capitalist world opinion when he said : "If 
the Five- Year Plan could be realized in 50 years, 
it would be a magnificent achievement. But that 
is Utopian." 

The Russian Communist Party replied to this 
barrage of ridicule and cynicism by putting out the 
slogan, "The Five-Year Plan in Four Years," and 
mobilized all possible forces to achieve this her- 
culean task. At the end of the third, "decisive" 
year, Dec., 1931, the record stood, in percentages 

s Speech at XVI Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet 


of accomplishment yearly of the Plan's proposed 
quotas of industrial output: 1929 106%, 1930 
107%, 1931 113%. Hence, taking into ac- 
count the progress in agriculture and all other 
factors, and in spite of a lag in several industries 
"(coal mining, metal, railroads, etc.) in 1931, 
chiefly because of transportation difficulties, Kub- 
yshev, President of the State Planning Commis- 
sion, could correctly say: "The 36% increase (for 
1932) of the output of planned industry means 
the complete realization of the proposals of the 
Five- Year Plan in 1932" that is, in four years. 
The "absurd" and "fantastic" is being accom- 

Ossinsky, a Russian economist, says: "Before 
us is one more year of Bolshevik attack, of decisive 
struggle for the Socialist industrialization of the 
country. When we shall sum up next year what has 
been done, out of the removed scaffoldings, on the 
cleared building sites, there will arise before your 
eyes, in harmonious perspective, the mighty edi- 
fice of the completed Five- Year Plan a new 
Socialist country, reconstructed by the indomitable 
will and inexhaustible strength of the proletariat, 
headed by its Bolshevist vanguard." 

In 1932, as in the past three years, the main 
stress is being laid upon the heavy industries 
metal, coal, chemicals, engineering, transport, etc. 
Also the utmost attention will be paid to consoli- 
dating the gains made, by the application of 


Stalin's celebrated "six points" for the organization 
of the labor supply, the reorganization of the wage 
scales, the establishment of greater personal re- 
sponsibility, the creation of a working class techni- 
cal intelligentsia, better working relations with the 
old bourgeois specialists and better accountancy 
systems. Reporting on the first three months of 
1932, the New York Times Moscow correspond- 
ent states (Mar. 21) : "Preliminary figures for 
the first quarter produced yesterday at a meeting 
of the State Planning Commission show a startling 
advance over the same period last year." 

"Japan, westernizing and industrializing itself 
50 years ago, was doing child's play compared to 
what the Soviet Union is doing today," says 
Frazier Hunt. 4 Already, almost overnight, the 
U.S.S.R has become an industrial country. In 
1931 the value of the products of industry exceeded 
those of agriculture, as 60 to 40. And that the 
development is going into the direction of Social- 
ism, (which the Social Democrats also said was 
impossible) , is decisively shown by the fact that the 
output of the Socialist sector of the general econ- 
omy, including agriculture, amounted in 1931 to 
91% of all production, as against 52% in 1928. 

Not only is the output of industry being in- 
creased, but the industrial base also constantly 
broadens. A solid foundation of heavy industry 
has already been laid, including the big tractor, 

York American, Jan. 14, 1930. 


automobile, chemical, electro-technical and other 
industries, which have been built from the ground 
up. Daily new products, never before made in the 
U.S.S.R., are being turned out, from watches and 
cameras to gigantic blooming mills and great elec- 
trical machines. This year there will be produced 
$500,000,000 worth of commodities formerly im- 
ported. A year ago the construction of a turbo- 
generator of 10,000 kilowatts was hailed as a great 
victory; now several of 77,000 kilowatts are being 
built. The U.S.S.R. is rapidly becoming a great 
industrial unit practically independent economi- 
cally of the capitalist world. 

The great speed with which this industrial de- 
velopment is taking place is quite without prece- 
dent. Russian industrial production leaps ahead 
at an average increase of 22% to 25% per year; 
whereas the best average achieved by the United 
States, from 1870 to 1890, was 8.3%. The New 
York Herald, of Jan., 1930 (Paris edition), says: 
"The Plan aims to accomplish in half a decade an 
amount of industrialization which other nations 
even one so richly endowed by nature as the United 
States took a generation or two to achieve." 
Brand says : "There was a time when Europe was 
astounded at American speed, at the rapid growth 
of towns, construction of large enterprises and 
skyscrapers. The U.S.S.R. has left American 
speed behind." E. Lyons says in Current His- 


tory, Nov., 1931: "The colossal economic program 
on which the Soviet government is now engaged 
amounts to the telescoping of half a century of 
progress into a decade or less." 

In 1931 capital investment in Russian heavy in- 
dustry equalled that of the three previous years; 
there was a 40% increase in the production of 
electric power; 518 new factories of all kinds were 
opened. The value of electrical products in 1930 
was 580,000,000 rubles, in 1931 it amounted to 
1,000,000,000, and in 1932 it will be 1,850,000,000. 5 
In 1931 the food industries increased 36% over 
1930. In 1932 the total new capital investment 
in all spheres will increase from 16 billion to 21^ 
billion rubles. The State budget will advance 
from 20% billion in 1931 to 27% billion in 1932, 
with a surplus of 500,000,000 rubles, as compared 
with the gigantic government deficits in the 
capitalist countries. The value of industrial pro- 
duction since 1929 has increased 50%. Many 
industries and factories (oil, tractors, machine- 
building, electro-technical, etc.) have completed 
the "impossible" Five- Year Plan in two to three 
years. Leningrad, the greatest of all Russian in- 
dustrial cities, had already finished the Five- Year 
Plan at the end of 1931. In three years the pro- 
ductivity of labor in the U.S.S.R. has increased 
34%. On many jobs (Dnieperstroy, Stalingrad, 

5 A ruble is worth approximately 51 cents. 


etc.) world construction records were broken, 
etc., etc. 6 

As against these great achievements, the Com- 
munists, with dynamic "self-criticism," point out 
many shortcomings. Thus Molotov says: "We 
did not fulfill our estimate for the raising of the 
productivity of labor in industry. . . We have also 
not carried out the proposals of the Five- Year Plan 
in regard to increasing the harvest yields. . . We 
have not fulfilled the tasks in regard to the recon- 
struction of transport, in particular of railroad 
transport." These weak spots are now the center 
of special attack. 

What the present tremendous growth of Rus- 
sian industry means over a period of years is ex- 
pressed by Pravda, Feb. 2, 1932 : 

Annual Production 

1925 1931 

Coal 17,600,000 (tons) 56,000,000 

Coke 1,600,000 " 6,700,000 

Oil 7,200,000 " 22,300,000 

Peat 2,500,000 " 9,400,000 

Pig Iron 1,500,000 " 4,900,000 

Steel 2,100,000 " 5,300,000 

Copper 12,000 " 48,800 

Cement 872,000 " 3,300,000 

Superphosphates 67,800 " 521,000 
Machine construction 730,000,000 (rubles) 5,700,000,000 

Tractors 469 (units) 41,200 
Electrical power 3 billion (kwhrs.) lO^ billion 

e The daily press just announces, March 30th, that the great 
Dnieperstroy dam has been completed six months ahead of schedule. 


This terrific speed is the famous "Bolshevik 
tempo" of development. It is made possible by 
the sound economics of the Socialist system, which 
makes for a rapid growth of the productive forces, 
by the determination of the workers to build So- 
cialism (and thus prosperity) as quickly as pos- 
sible, by the pressure of the swiftly rising living 
standards and demands of the toilers, by the revo- 
lutionary enthusiasm of the masses in building the 
industries, by the burning necessity to render the 
U.S.S.R. economically independent of the capital- 
ist world at the earliest possible period and to 
enable it to defend itself against the developing 
capitalist war attack, by the determination to show 
the workers of the world the superiority of Social- 
ism over capitalism. 

One of the basic factors, as we have indicated, 
in the stormy advance of Russian industry is the 
blazing enthusiasm of the workers. They have 
this enthusiasm because they realize they are build- 
ing the great industrial system for their own bene- 
fit, not for a small clique of capitalist exploiters. 
Thus they have developed the celebrated "Social- 
ist competition," by which factory and factory, 
industry and industry, city and city, compete with 
each other in comradely rivalry to carry through 
sooner and better their production plans. Besides, 
the well-established plants "lend" large numbers of 
their better-trained workers to localities where mass 
production is just being introduced. They also 


have their "shock brigades" of workers to push for- 
ward difficult tasks, and "self-control" committees 
to check up on the work. There are 200,000 shock 
brigades, with 3,500,000 worker members, and a 
great mass of the self-control committees. The 
workers submit their "counter-plans" of production 
against those formulated by the industry heads. 
Examples: In the "Electric Apparat" plant in 
Leningrad the management planned a 72,000,000 
ruble output for this year, whereupon the workers 
presented their counter-plan to increase the output 
to 94,500,000 rubles ; the great Saratov agricultural 
machine plant was officially scheduled to begin 
operations by Jan. 1, 1932, but the workers' 
counter-plan called for a production of 200 ma- 
chines daily by that date. 

Shock brigades, self-control committees and So- 
cialist competition lead to great improvements in 
industrial technique and labor efficiency. Ruben- 
stein says: "The number of suggestions and 
inventions by workers has increased one-hundred- 
fold during the past year. Frequently one finds 
factories receiving thousands of suggestions of the 
workers in the course of the year." 7 How futile 
are the American B. & O. plan, "pep talk" methods 
in comparison. The young workers are the prime 
movers and organizers of this great shock-brigade, 
Socialist-competition, self-control movement the 

7 Science at the Crossroads, p. 20. 


like of which is totally unknown in capitalist coun- 

Swift though the present speed of development 
in the U.S.S.R. may be, the Russians would and 
could go still faster. Were credits available they 
would double or triple their orders for machinery in 
the capitalist countries. But most of these coun- 
tries, especially the United States, systematically 
place hindrances in the way of such credits, hoping 
thereby to wreck the Five- Year Plan, or at least to 
slow down the, to them, very dangerous speed of 
Russian industrial growth. American imperial- 
ism, to the glee of Matthew Woll and Hamilton 
Fish, prefers to shut down its plants and throw the 
workers out on the streets to starve than to let 
them work on Russian industrial orders. 

The new Russian industries are being built upon 
a scientific basis, not haphazard as in capitalist 
countries. The railroads, with great feeder lines 
of auto-trucks, canals, etc., are being built by plan, 
not with the endless waste, duplication and general 
anarchy to be found, for example, in the United 
States. The steel mills, chemical plants, etc., are 
constructed according to the last word in industrial 
technique, located at the most strategic points and 
coordinated with each other and with the whole in- 
dustrial system. It is all one vast industrial ma- 
chine, all the parts of which fit into and work with 
each other. 

Naturally, the plants and the industrialization as 


a whole are on an immense scale. No combination 
of capitalists anywhere could organize such gigan- 
tic projects. This can be done only by a Socialist 
State. With only one or two exceptions, the great 
plants here cited are by far the largest in the world. 
A few of the new industrial giants, either just fin- 
ished or in course of construction, are: the well- 
known Stalingrad, Leningrad and Kharkov tractor 
plants, with a capacity of 100,000 tractors yearly; 
the great Amo and Nizhni-Novgorod automotive 
plants, the latter exceeded in size only by the Ford 
River Rouge plant; the huge power plant and in- 
dustrial combine on the Dnieper, costing 840,000,- 
000 rubles and employing 35,000 builders; the 
gigantic Volga and Angara river hydro-electric 
plants and industrial combines, both larger than 
any in the world, the Volga plant, starting in 1932, 
to cost 1,200,000,000 rubles, and its combine of 
local copper, chemical, aluminum, etc., plants to 
cost 3,000,000,000 rubles, or about as much as all 
the plants together of the United States Steel Cor- 
poration; the monster steel mills on a similar scale 
at Magnitogorsk, Kuznetz, Zaporozhie, Noginsk, 
etc. ; the great Kamensk-Sinarsk plant alone to have 
a capacity of 2,000,000 tons of pig iron yearly. 
The gigantic Novo-Sibirsk agricultural machine 
plants two years ago there were only two com- 
bined harvesting machines in all Siberia, now this 
plant will build 15,000 annually, in addition to 
35 ? 000 tractor seed drills, 30,000 tractor hay mow- 


ers, etc.; the new Kashira electric locomotive 
works, capacity 1600 large American-type engines 
yearly; the Yaroslavl rubber-asbestos combine, un- 
equalled in size anywhere, employing 22,000 work- 
ers and operating upon local- grown rubber (the 
newly- found "towsagis") ; the vast new textile 
combine in Siberia; the monster electrical machine 
building combine in the Urals, to begin early in 
1932 and to have an output valued at 2,000,000,000 
rubles yearly; the monster Leningrad clothing fac- 
tory with 18,000 workers, the great copper mining 
and reduction plant, larger than any in the United 
States, near Lake Balkash, to turn out 400,000 
tons of copper annually, or more than eight times 
as much as the total Soviet copper production for 
1931, etc., etc. 

Just a few further details in this wholly un- 
paralleled industrialization are the building of a 
modern national meat packing industry, the set- 
ting up of the most powerful radio station in the 
world, the construction of the "Turk-Sib" railroad, 
the digging of the Volga-Don and Volga-Moscow 
canals, the latter to cost 100,000,000 rubles, the 
opening of 10,000 new retail stores in 1932, the 
completion of 138 airlines with 100,000 miles of 
airways by the end of 1932, the Moscow subway, 
to cost nearly a billion rubles, the great Palace of 
Soviets, 6,000 new motion picture installations, 
etc., etc. 

On such a scale and with such speed and planful- 


ness, are the Russian workers building their in- 
dustries. And the joke of it all is that only a year 
or two ago the Communists were universally con- 
demned by capitalist wiseacres as hopeless tyros 
industrially. Now they are teaching the whole 
world an entirely new perspective of industrial 

The Revolution in Agriculture 

IF SOCIALISM proceeds with great speed in indus- 
try, it goes still faster in agriculture. The vast 
development of the productive forces and the re- 
organization generally that is taking place with 
almost lightning speed in Russian agriculture is 
something altogether new in the world. During 
the 30 days from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, 1930, one- 
third of all the peasants entered the collective 
farms in the monster organization campaign, rais- 
ing the total of collectivized homesteads from 
4,300,000 to 14,000,000 at one stroke. Anna 
Louise Strong thus describes this tremendous 
movement: "Can one give a smooth account of an 
earthquake ? The storm of collectivization that I 
found on the Lower Volga in late November, 1929, 
was as elemental as an earthquake, as a tidal wave, 
as a whirlwind." 8 

The Five- Year Plan was completed in two years 
in the collectivized farms, in three years in the 

s The Soviets Conquer Wheat, p. 24. 


State farms. The Plan called for 20% of all 
farms to be collectivized by the end of 1933; al- 
ready there are 62% and this year will raise it to 
75%, which will practically complete the most im- 
portant districts. There were 1,000,000 collec- 
tivized farms in 1929, now there are 22,000,000 
organized into 200,000 collectives; there were 143 
State farms in 1930, now there are 4,000, or far 
in excess of the quota called for by the Five- Year 
Plan. Duranty says (N. Y. Times, Jan. 2, 1932) 
that nine-tenths of the chief grain centers are al- 
ready collectivized. 

These new farms are huge in size. In 1927 the 
average size of Russian farms was 11 acres, now 
it is 973. The State farms range as large as 100,- 
000 to 200,000 acres; the collectives are still more 
gigantic, some running as great as 500,000 acres 
of cultivated land, exceeding thus in size by four 
or five times the biggest farms in any other coun- 
try in the world. Whole districts have become 
practically single farms, worked in common by the 
organized farmers. 

Russian farming is fairly leaping ahead from a 
condition of almost medieval primitiveness to the 
most advanced in the world. In many parts of 
the Soviet Union farming methods of 2,000 years 
ago were still in use up till the great drive for col- 
lectivization. Even close to Moscow things were 
not much better. Says A. L. Strong: "In the 
district of Koshira, only three hours by rail from 


Moscow, a survey made in 1930 of farm equipment 
showed a population of 62,000 souls and some 
6,200 plows, of which 2,659 were of the home-made 
wooden style." But so swift is the pace of develop- 
ment that Kalinin could say on Mar. 6, 1931, at 
the Sixth Congress of Soviets: "In industry great 
may be the advance in comparison with our back- 
ward past, we are still only striving to overtake 
the technical development of more advanced coun- 
tries. But in farming we are leaders on a new 
road. Here we go before all nations" 

The farms are being rapidly and scientifically 
mechanized. Lenin said: "If 100,000 first class 
tractors could be produced and supplied with gaso- 
line and tractorists tomorrow (and you know that 
this is still but a fantasy) , the middle peasant would 
say: 'Yes, I am for the commune,' that is, for 
Communism." Well, the tractors are now in the 
fields, 150,000 of them, and the middle peasants 
are practically won for Socialism, as Lenin fore- 
saw. One of the revolutionary features of the 
new mechanization is the "tractor stations." 
These are centers that furnish machinery and re- 
pairs, instruction, recreation, etc., to the peasants. 
In Dec., 1931, there were 1400 of them; in 1932, 
1700 more are being organized, thus covering the 
entire country with a network of farm machine 
local centers, radiation points of all that is needed 
to build the new farming and Socialism. With this 
mechanization goes a fundamental improvement of 


methods in all directions, the development of scien- 
tific fertilization, the building of great irrigation 
projects, the beginning of the electrification in 
farming, etc. They are now even sowing wheat 
by airplane. 

Already, although the general movement is just 
getting under way, vast improvements are to be 
registered in farming results. In three years there 
has been a 21% increase in the total cultivated 
area. The cotton acreage now amounts to three 
times pre-war, and other industrial crops show ac- 
cordingly. Despite a still great lack of machinery 
and fertilizer, the yield on the collectives runs from 
25% to 50% better than on the old individual 
farms. The year 1931 was a drought period; for- 
merly it would have produced a famine, but with 
collectivized farming the general output equalled 
the previous year. 

In 1932 there will be a further stimulation of 
the whole movement. The total new capital in- 
vestment in the Socialist sector of agriculture will 
be 4,360,000,000 rubles instead of the 3,600,000,000 
in 1931. There will be increases of the State 
cattle ranches of 40%, State piggeries 200%, State 
sheep ranches 40%, cotton sowing 14%, sugar 
beets 13%, spring wheat 5%, and a myriad of 
other developments of agricultural production. 
The world agrarian crisis does not bear down upon 
the Soviet Union; while in other countries they 
are burning coffee, wheat, etc., and the very farm- 


ers themselves are starving, in the U.S.S.R. every 
effort is being made to increase production, and 
the conditions of the rural population rapidly im- 

The revolution in Russian agriculture is of pro- 
found economic, political and social significance. 
The farmers are being proletarianized and revolu- 
tionized. The collectivized farms lay a solid So- 
cialist basis in the country. The remnants of 
competitive, individualist farming are being liqui- 
dated, and the rich kulaks with them. The farms 
are being mechanized and industrialized, the unity 
of city and country established. The workers in 
the cities and on the farms are being knitted into 
one solid working class. Light and prosperity are 
being brought into the dark Russian villages. The 
whole social basis of the Soviet government is being 
enormously strengthened. The winning of the 
"fundamentally anti- Socialist" middle peasants to 
Socialism has been practically accomplished. 

Outstripping the Capitalist Countries 

WHEN Lenin called upon the Russian workers to 
"overtake and outstrip the most advanced capitalist 
countries" industrially, this historic appeal was 
greeted with hilarious guffaws all over the capitalist 
world, especially in Social-Democratic circles. 
How could the "impractical" Bolsheviks ever 
do that ? Preposterous ! But now capitalism's 


laugh is on the other side of its face. It is com- 
pelled to see that the Soviet Union, advancing with 
giant strides, is fairly running past the industrially 
stagnant and declining capitalist countries. 

"In the U.S.S.R.," says Premier Molotov, "24 
new blast furnaces were started in 1931, while 29 
were closed down in the United States from Janu- 
ary to September of the same year." "In the 
U.S.S.R.," states Brand, "we are building work- 
shops, in Europe and the United States they are 
closing them down; the U.S.S.R. is launching new 
ships, in Hamburg, London and New York ships 
are being converted into scrap iron." In 1931, 
while the Soviet Union was advancing its general 
industrial production 21%, that of the capitalist 
countries declined on an average of 25%. Since 
1928 Russian industrial production has increased 
86%, and that of the capitalist world has fallen 
29%. 9 While the national income of the U.S.S.R. 
increased 14% in 1931, the general drop in capital- 
ist countries ran from 15% to 20%. 

In the production of oil the Soviet Union now 
stands second among the nations, in coal mining 
and heavy machine building fourth. In 1927, it 
stood seventh in the production of electrical equip- 
ment; in 1931 fourth, in 1932 it will be second, 
standing behind only the United States. In the 
making of automobiles, 1932 will put the Soviet 

9 Data from League of Nations' sources and German Economic 


Union ahead of both Germany and Italy. In the 
steel industry it is overtaking one capitalist coun- 
try after another; in 1929 Belgium was passed, in 
1931 England was outdistanced, only three coun- 
tries now being ahead of the Soviet Union in steel, 
and they also are being rapidly overhauled. 

In the matter of total national income the 
U.S.S.R. now stands second in the world, its figure 
of 38 billions for 1931 being twice that of 1913 and 
exceeding the pre-crisis figures for Germany, Great 
Britain and France. 

In total volume of industrial production the 
U.S.S.R. also occupies second place. The Eco- 
nomic Review of the Soviet Union (Apr. 1, 1932) 
informs us: "By August (1931) industrial pro- 
duction of the Soviet Union already exceeded that 
of Germany and was second only to the United 
States. While in 1928 the share of the United 
States in world industrial output was nearly ten 
times that of the U.S.S.R., by October of last year 
it was only about three times." Few, if any, of 
the capitalist countries, now stricken by economic 
crisis, that are being so rapidly passed by the Soviet 
Union, will ever catch up with it again, even tem- 

The second Five- Year Plan, recently announced 
and which will go into effect at the end of this year 
when the present Five- Year Plan is completed, 
provides a gigantic program of industrial and agri- 
cultural development that will further advance the 


position of the U.S.S.R. in world economy. The 
XVII Party Conference of the C.P.S.U. says in 
its resolution: "In the second Five-Year Plan the 
Soviet Union will advance to the first place in 
Europe in regard to technique." The purpose of 
the new plan is to "transform the whole national 
economy and to create the most modern technical 
basis of all branches of national economy." The 
first Five- Year Plan greatly frightened the capi- 
talist world ; the second increases its demoralization. 

The tremendous scope of the second Five- Year 
Plan may be realized from the fact that it provides 
for a total new capital investment of 150 billion 
rubles, or about 78 billion dollars. What this 
gigantic sum means in the way of development is 
indicated by the comparison that it is equal to 
three times the I.C.C. valuation of the total rail- 
road mileage of the United States 26 billion dol- 
lars, a figure which includes one-third to one-half 
of watered values. 

Some of the details of the immense second Five- 
Year Plan are the following: the development of 
six times as much electrical power in 1937 as in 
1932, extension of the machine building industry 
3^/2 times, increase of coal production from 90 
million tons in 1932 to 250 million in 1937, 300% 
increase in the production of oil, the yearly pro- 
duction of 22 million tons of pig iron, (requiring 
a tempo of development twice as fast as that of the 
United States and Germany in their best days), 


an output of 170,000 tractors per year, the build- 
ing of 30,000 kilometers of railroads, accompanied 
with a complete reorganization, including the estab- 
lishment of the block system, automatic couplers, 
bigger locomotives and cars, new bridges, extensive 
electrification, etc. The main aim will be to build 
the heavy industries and power base, but the light 
industries will also be developed 200% to 300%. 
In agriculture similar great advances will be made, 
including a large extension of the sown area (cot- 
ton and flax 100%, sugar beets 200%, etc.), com- 
plete collectivization of the land, complete mechan- 
ization of the main branches of agriculture and the 
beginnings of electrification, including the electri- 
cal stimulation of plant growth, a huge increase of 
livestock, a large expansion of wheat production 
to insure against drought years, the construction of 
automobile roads on a vast scale, etc., etc. The 
Party resolution expresses "the firm conviction 
that the main tasks of the second Five- Year Plan 
will not only be fulfilled, but even surpassed." 

The accomplishment of this stupendous plan of 
development will put the U.S.S.R. within hailing 
distance of the United States in the matter of in- 
dustrial output. In one fundamental (not to 
mention many lesser ones), that of the production 
of electrical power, the Russian figure in 1937 
will exceed that of the United States in 1929. En- 
gineer C. A. Gill of the B. & O. Railroad, just 
returned from the Soviet Union, says of the rail- 


roads: "Russia is today already second only to 
the United States in tonnage carried. In the next 
five years she will equal this country." 10 At its 
present rate of development the U.S.S.R. will be 
the world's leader in industrial production within 
10 years. By that time Lenin's famous slogan, 
"to overtake and surpass the most advanced capi- 
talist countries," will be fully realized. 

Eeal Prosperity for the Toilers 

BUT THE Soviet Union is not only rapidly increas- 
ing its industrial and agricultural production; it 
is at the same time building an industrial (and 
social) system superior in structure and function 
to that of capitalism. Instead of a hodge-podge 
of competitive and unprogressive industry and 
agriculture, it is creating a great, modern, pro- 
gressive industrial-agricultural machine ; instead of 
a profit-making apparatus to fatten a few while 
millions starve, it is building its industries for the 
benefit of the producing masses. That is why the 
Soviet Union is a land of no strikes. That is why 
the Russian workers and peasants are toiling so 
resolutely to build their new industrial system, un- 
deterred by either the appalling difficulties of an 
undeveloped economy or the endless obstacles 
placed in their way by the world capitalist enemy. 
The growth of Socialism marks the birth of the 

10 New York Times, Feb. 19, 1932. 


first era of prosperity for the workers. Under 
capitalism everywhere wealth piles up automat- 
ically in the hands of the parasitic owners of the 
industries, while the masses of actual producers 
live at the bare subsistence line. But in the Social- 
ist Soviet Union all this is fundamentally changed. 
There production is carried on for the benefit of 
those who actually work. There are no artificial 
limits placed upon production by the need to sell 
in a clogged market. Hence productive forces de- 
velop freely and rapidly, and as production in- 
creases the added output inevitably translates itself 
into higher wages, shorter hours, better working 
conditions, more elaborate cultural institutions, 
etc., for the toilers. "There are no beggars or 
lines of unemployed in Soviet streets no rent 
evictions, no ragged despair," says Duranty. One 
of the most infamous and ridiculous capitalist lies 
against the Soviet Union is that the Russian work- 
ers are "exploited." How can they possibly be 
"exploited" when there is no ruling, owning class, 
no class to get a rake-off from the worker's pro- 
duction ? X1 

It is a revolutionary fact of first importance that 
only in the Soviet Union, of all the world, are the 
conditions of the toilers now being improved. In 
every respect they are advancing, while in all capi- 
talist countries, the United States included, the 

11 A typically absurd argument against Socialism is made in The 
Forum, Nov., 1931, by Andre Maurois that, "a permanent better- 
ment of standards will again build up a bourgeoisie." 


standards of the workers have catastrophically de- 
clined, until mass starvation is a common phenome- 
non. The workers everywhere, penetrating the 
lies of capitalism, are beginning to understand the 
significance of this rise of workers' standards under 
Socialism and their decline under capitalism. 
That is the reason millions of them want to go to 
the Soviet Union; it explains why the working 
class everywhere is more and more looking to the 
Soviet Union as the guide it must follow in its 
fight for freedom and prosperity. 

The main task of all capitalist governments is 
the suppression and exploitation of the toiling 
masses; but the very reason-for-being of the revo- 
lutionary Soviet government is the fundamental 
improvement of the conditions of these masses. 
This, characteristically, the Soviet government does 
according to plan. Not only is the development 
of industry and agriculture the object of the State 
planning, but also the systematic improvement of 
wages, hours, living and cultural conditions, etc. 
Up till now, in order to lay a solid Socialist founda- 
tion for real worker prosperity, the government 
has had to apply every possible energy and re- 
source to the development of industry. Neverthe- 
less, it has been able to accomplish profound bet- 
terments in the workers' conditions. Let us 
briefly review some of them: 

Unemployment, that terror of the capitalist 
system, has no place in a Socialist system. The 


consuming power of the masses keeps pace with 
and outstrips their producing power. Hence, 
unemployment has been wiped out in the Soviet 
Union. The right to work, alien and unknown to 
capitalist society, has been fully established. 
While millions of hungry workers desperately 
seek employment in capitalist countries, in the 
Soviet Union every worker has a job. And it will 
so remain. From 1922 to 1928 there was consid- 
erable unemployment in the Soviet Union, despite 
the steady growth of industry and increase in the 
number of workers employed, this being caused by 
large numbers of workers coming from the villages 
to the cities. Originally, the Five-Year Plan did 
not contemplate the complete elimination of un- 
employment by 1932. Nevertheless, this has been 
accomplished. Moreover, there is a huge shortage 
of workers in every industry. The working class, 
the most basic element in the productive forces of 
society, either stagnant or actually declining in 
numbers in capitalist countries, is rapidly on the 
increase in the Soviet Union. In 1927, there were 
(except agricultural) 8,866,000 workers and in 
1930, 12,429,000. The last year of the Five- Year 
Plan, 1933, called for a grand total of 15,800,000 
workers, but this year the number has already 
reached 18,700,000. In 1932 another 3 millions 
will be added, raising the total to over 21 millions 
or 133% of the Plan. Thus the very basis of the 


revolution, the working class, is being enormously 
strengthened, and that, too, by plan. 

Under Socialism wages are as high as the total 
economy will permit; under capitalism they are as 
low as the workers can be compelled to accept. 
Hence, with the rapidly expanding economy in 
the U.S.S.R., wages are swiftly on the increase, 
in contrast to rapid wage declines in all capitalist 
countries. In the U.S.S.R. average yearly wages 
(except in agriculture) were; 1927 729 rubles, 

1930 956 rubles, 1931 1010 rubles. Calculat- 
ing upon the principles of purchasing power and 
socialized wages, (which include social insurance, 
vacations, etc.), the wages of Russian workers are 
now about double what they were before the revo- 
lution. And the tempo of wage advance becomes 
ever faster in the Soviet Union, as the general 
economy expands, even as the rate of wage decline 
increases in the industrially decaying capitalist 
lands. Last year the Russian average wage in- 
crease was 18%, in 1932 it is planned to be 27%. 12 
The final year of the Five- Year Plan called for a 
total wage fund of 15,700,000,000 rubles; but in 

1931 it had already reached 21,000,000,000 and in 

1932 it will be 26,800,000,000, or 171% fulfillment 
of the Plan. In the question of wages the prin- 
ciple of "overtaking and surpassing" the capitalist 
countries also applies. The Russians in this re- 
is Associated Press dispatches of Mar. 31, 1932, announce a gen- 
eral wage increase of 11% to 20% in all the light and heavy indus- 
tries of the U.S.S.R. 


spect have already passed many countries; un- 
doubtedly they are even ahead of many categories 
of American workers, including miners and textile 
workers, and with wages advancing so rapidly in 
the Soviet Union and falling so fast in all capital- 
ist countries, they will soon pass the rest. In all 
likelihood, considering the incomes of the working 
class as a whole, the second Five- Year Plan, which 
will at least double the wages of the workers, will 
put the Russian workers in the lead of the whole 

In the question of the short working period, the 
Russian workers already are in the forefront of 
the world's working class. In the U.S.S.R. the 
average workday is 7.02 hours, with a five-day 
week, as against an average of 8.50 hours per day 
in the United States, for an average 5%-day 
week. In the U.S.S.R the maximum workday is 
8 hours, with the 6-hour -day for the youth and 
workers in dangerous and unhealthy trades 
(mines, chemicals, etc.,) ; in the United States the 
sky is the limit for hours, with the 10-hour day 
widespread, 53% of the workers in the steel in- 
dustry working 10 to 12 hours daily and 27% 
working the 7-day week, 13 little or no limitations 
upon the hours of youth and women workers, etc. 
The Five- Year Plan contemplated completing the 
introduction of the 7-hour day by the end of 1933, 
but this also will be accomplished in four years, at 

is Labor Fact Book, p. 87. 


present about 90% of the industrial workers being 
upon the 7-hour day basis or less. In the capital- 
ist countries, despite the huge unemployment, there 
is actually a tendency to increase the length of the 
working day; whereas, of course, in the Socialist 
Soviet Union the working day is constantly being 
cut. The second Five-Year Plan will make the 
6-hour day practically universal in the Soviet 

The social insurance of the Russian workers, 
already the most comprehensive in the world, also 
is being rapidly developed. It covers every form 
of disability sickness, accident, unemployment, 
old age, child-birth, etc., etc., and is fast reach- 
ing the stage of full wages under all conditions of 
disemployment. In the capitalist countries, as 
part of the program of thrusting the burden of 
the crisis upon the shoulders of the working class, 
the workers' benefits under State social legislation 
are being drastically reduced. In the Soviet 
Union, of course, the reverse is the case. Even 
the radical provisions of the Five-Year Plan in this 
field are being greatly exceeded in accomplish- 
ment; the Plan provided that the social insurance 
budget for 1933 should be 1,900,000,000 rubles; 
as a matter of fact, however, it had reached 2,500,- 
000,000 already in 1931, and will mount to 
3,400,000,000 in 1932, or about double the original 
Plan figure. "Russia," says Rep. Sirovich, (Dem. 
N. Y.) (New York Journal, Dec. 10, 1931), "is 


the only place in the world where charity and 
philanthropy have been abolished." The Russian 
workers and farmers, with their elaborate social 
insurance, have no need for such miserable hand- 

The health and safety of the workers, in indus- 
try and in social life generally, is in the very nature 
of Socialism a first concern of the Soviet govern- 
ment. Tremendous progress is being made in 
these fields. In the same series of articles, Siro- 
vich says, "Russia has a widespread and thorough 
health program. The Commissariat of Health 
gathers the best medical knowledge in the world 
and places it free of charge at the disposal of the 
Russian people." While in capitalist countries, 
under the pressure of the speed-up system in in- 
dustry, unemployment, low wages, undernourish- 
ment, etc., accidents pile up in industry and the 
health of the working class is undermined; in the 
Soviet Union just the reverse tendencies are mani- 
fest. The old-time plagues of cholera and typhus 
are now only terrible memories; the health of the 
masses is being scientifically cultivated. Industry 
is being made safe and healthy. No workers in 
the world have the vacations with pay, free rest 
homes and sanatoria, free medical services, etc., 
that the Russian workers have. In 1929 the 
Soviet government spent 54,500,000 rubles for 
safety and sanitation in industry; in 1931 this work 
absorbed 124,000,000 rubles, and further huge im- 


provements are planned. For the general health 
services, including sport, the national budget for 
1932 calls for 1,737,000,000 rubles. Such figures, 
of course, do not include the hundreds of millions 
more spent by the local Soviets. 

The housing problem in the Soviet Union is a se- 
vere one, what with the heterogeneous collection of 
miserable shacks left over from the Czarist regime 
and the terrific growth of urban population. But 
this problem is also being solved rapidly. The 
national government housing program, which does 
not include innumerable large local projects, in- 
creases in volume from year to year: in 1926 it 
amounted to 292,000,000 rubles; in 1931, 1,117,- 
000,000; and in 1932 it will be 2,892,000,000. 
Whole new cities are being built from the ground 
up, and the old ones rebuilt, on Socialist lines. 
Under the State Institute for City Planning 100 
of such gigantic building projects are being 
pushed. Never was planned city building car- 
ried out upon such a huge scale. Such places as 
Leningrad and Nizhni-Novgorod are being rebuilt 
into model Socialist cities, with great systems of 
schools, theatres, clubs, municipal baths, libraries, 
athletic fields, factory kitchens, laundries, crema- 
toriums, stadiums, hospitals, refrigeration plants, 
etc. Besides, Socialist cities are also being built 
in the country, the most striking of these being the 
already famous "Socialist Farm City" of Filanova. 
This city, to be completed by 1934, will contain a 


population of 60,000, now scattered in 127 villages, 
and it will have all modern facilities. The whole 
district will be one great farm, the toilers living in 
the city and going to their work in automobiles. 
This revolutionary city is being built in a district 
where the peasants are just emerging from the 
darkness of the middle ages. 

The improved living standards of the workers 
are paralleled by similar advances in the peasants' 
conditions. The whole village life is being trans- 
formed. More food, better clothing, better hous- 
ing, a raised standard of living generally is the 
order of the day in the country. The collective 
farm movement is freeing the peasants from the 
hopeless drudgery of the past; it is giving them a 
much greater return for their work; it brings edu- 
cation and a new culture; it makes a huge saving 
in labor power which is being used to rebuild and 
modernize the whole life in the country. The 
Russian peasants are now taking the most gigantic 
and swiftest steps forward in culture and well- 
being ever made in any country in the history of 
the world. 

The general rise in Russian living standards is 
manifested by a large increase in consumption of 
the more nutritious foods. The consumption of 
meat, for example, has increased 25% in four 
years, with a further heavy increase planned for 
in 1932. The production of eggs and potatoes, 
exceeded last year by 20 % to 50 % ; the produc- 


tion of meat, butter, sunflower seeds and linseed by 
50% to 100% ; that of poultry and tobacco 100%. 
Whereas government experts in the United States 
are now teaching the workers how to live on a few 
cents a week, while masses of foodstuffs rot in the 
warehouses, the Soviet government is bending 
every effort to increase food production which 
automatically means to increase consumption. In 
10 years it is planned to quadruple the present 
number of cattle, sheep and hogs. The resolution 
of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet 
government says: "In the year 1932, the fund 
allotted to goods intended for mass consumption 
will be greatly increased. This fund is rising 
(computed according to the retail prices of last 
year) from 27,200,000,000 rubles to 35,000,000,- 
000. That is to say, the retail turnover of the 
Socialist sector increases 30%." What govern- 
ment other than that of the U.S.S.R., would thus 
plan the betterment of the toilers' conditions ? 

The second Five- Year Plan will greatly accel- 
erate the rise in Russian living standards. This 
will be possible with the more developed industrial 
base. Wages will be doubled or tripled. The six- 
hour day will become almost universal. The 
social insurance system will reach the stage of full 
wages for every form of disability. Production 
of consumption goods will be enormously increased. 
Vast housing plans will be completed. The reso- 
lution of the XVII conference of the Communist 


Party of the Soviet Union provides: "In the light 
industries and in the food industries production is 
to be extended and a three-fold increase in the 
standard of consumption of the population is to 
be secured." 

The Russian workers and peasants, it is true, 
are still poor. This poverty is their heritage from 
Czarism and capitalism. But with control of the 
industries and the land, with capitalist exploita- 
tion and robbery stopped, with rapidly developing 
Socialist industries and farms, they have the solid 
basis for such a prosperity as no working class in 
the world has ever even remotely approached. 
The rapidity with which this prosperity will de- 
velop and its great depth and breadth will soon 
astound the world. Capitalists everywhere under- 
stand this. They sense the revolutionizing effect 
it will have upon the millions of workers in their 
countries who, in the growing crisis of the capi- 
talist system, are falling deeper and deeper into 
poverty and starvation. This is the basic reason 
why the capitalists are redoubling their efforts to 
develop war against the Soviet Union. 

The Cultural Revolution 

THE PROLETARIAN revolution ushered a new era of 
social culture into what was old Russia. Culture, 
instead of being the monopoly of the few ex- 
ploiters and a tool to maintain their class rule, has 


now become the boon of the broad masses, and a 
means for their emancipation. Instead of being 
designed to make intellectual slaves of the toilers, 
as is always the aim of the capitalist "culture," the 
new culture in the Soviet Union is free and scien- 
tific. For the first time in history the working 
masses have a chance to understand life and to 
enjoy the intellectual treasures that modern condi- 
tions are able to produce. It is a veritable cultural 
revolution which, in the next few years, by drawing 
out the repressed intellectual capacities of the 
masses under the conditions of Socialism, will pro- 
foundly transform every feature and phase of 
human thought and intellectual activity. The 
Russian revolution is giving the greatest stimula- 
tion to science, literature, music, the theatre, etc., 
that the world has ever known. 

In the Soviet Union the foundations of the new 
culture are being laid by a huge campaign of popu- 
lar education. This is also being conducted ac- 
cording to the principles of Socialist planning. In 
providing for the building of great factories, the 
Five-Year Plan also utilizes the new industrializa- 
tion for the education of the masses. Mass educa- 
tion in the Soviet Union assumes the aspect of a 
great "cultural offensive" which also develops with 
"Bolshevik tempo." Even foreign capitalistic 
observers must remark the breadth and depth of 
this unprecedented movement. Duranty cor- 
rectly says, (New York Times, Dec. 1, 1931): 


"There seems to be no parallel in history to the 
drive for learning in all branches of knowledge, 
from reading and writing to the abstruse sciences, 
now in progress in the Soviet Union." 

Before the revolution only about 7,000,000 chil- 
dren attended school; now there are 23,000,000. 
The whole school system is growing by leaps and 
bounds ; the teaching is according to the most scien- 
tific methods, it is carried on in 70 languages, there 
being over 100 peoples going to make up the Soviet 
Union. A system of compulsory schooling has 
been adopted and everywhere applied. In the 
secondary schools there are now eight times as 
many pupils as in pre-war days. All told, 46,000,- 
000 people, one-third of the population, are at- 
tending educational institutions. In 1932 the 
national government budget calls for an expendi- 
ture of 9,200,000,000 rubles for social-cultural 
enterprises. This is aside from a veritable net- 
work of educational institutions of the Communist 
party, the Communist Youth League, the trade 
unions, cooperatives, factories, the Red Army, etc. 
There is a whole deluge of books pouring from the 
printing presses, the Soviet Union being already 
the world leader as a publisher of books not to 
speak of their superior quality. The theatre, the 
swiftly-growing radio and motion pictures, are also 
tremendous educational instruments. 

One of the great achievements of this vast work 
is the rapid wiping out of illiteracy. In 1913 only 


25% above the age of 10 could read; 90% of 
women were illiterate. Illiteracy has now been 
practically eliminated from the industrial centers 
and it will also soon go from the villages. By the 
end of 1932 illiteracy is to be liquidated com- 
pletely. The fight against illiteracy is not simply 
a matter of the regular educational institutions; a 
real assault is being made upon it by the more 
educated sections of the masses under the historic 
slogan, "Literate, Teach the Illiterate." The 
struggle against illiteracy and for education in 
general keeps pace with the growth of industry and 
the collectivization of the farms. Thus in those 
districts where the collectivization is well advanced 
the whole body of illiterates are undergoing in- 

But the cultural revolution, as we have already 
indicated, is much more than merely giving the 
masses an elementary education. It is also more 
significant than simply a rapid extension of schools, 
scientific institutes, theatres, etc., that is now 
taking place in the Soviet Union. It is a pro- 
found revolution in all culture. A whole new 
cultural system is being born. 

Under capitalism science is a slave to the class 
interests of the bourgeoisie. Thus biology justi- 
fies the mad class struggle and war; economics puts 
an unqualified blessing upon wage slavery; history 
proves that capitalism is society perfected; psy- 
chology explains away poverty on the basis of 


inferior beings, etc. Capitalist science is also a 
veritable fortress of metaphysical concepts of every 
kind. But Socialism strikes all these fetters from 
science. The working class exploits no subject 
class. Therefore, it has no interest to degrade 
science into a subtle system of propaganda, but on 
the contrary to give it the freest possible develop- 
ment. Marxian dialectical materialism destroys 
the metaphysics that paralyzes bourgeois science. 

Capitalist science is planless and anarchic, the 
hit-or-miss task of whoever may be. But Social- 
ism organizes science. In the Soviet Union scien- 
tific work is being done on a planned basis, with 
full government support. There is a special 
Scientific Research Sector of the Supreme Eco- 
nomic Council. Bukharin says: "The plan of So- 
cialist construction is not only a plan of economy; 
the process of the rationalization of life, beginning 
with the suppression of irrationality in the eco- 
nomic sphere, wins away from it one position after 
another; the principle of planning invades the 
realm of mental production, the sphere of science, 
the sphere of theory." 14 

Capitalist science sets up a metaphysical separa- 
tion of theory and practice, and a corresponding 
arbitrary division of intellectual from manual labor. 
It is based upon a caste theory and does not de- 
velop the creative abilities of the masses. But 
Socialism liquidates this reactionary system. In 

14 Science at the Crossroads, p. 20. 


the U.S.S.R. scientific theory and practice are 
being linked up; science is being brought to the 
masses and in so doing is revolutionized; a great 
mass development in science is going on such as 
exists in no other country; the basis is being laid 
for the eventual wiping out of the difference be- 
tween so-called "mental" and "physical" labor. 

In the U.S.S.R., as part of the general cultural 
revolution, religion is being liquidated. Religion, 
which Marx called, "the opium of the people," has 
been a basic part of every system of exploitation 
that has afflicted humanity chattel slavery, feu- 
dalism, capitalism. It has sanctified every war 
and every tyrant, no matter how murderous and 
reactionary. Its glib phrases about morality, 
brotherly love and immortality are the covers be- 
hind which the most terrible deeds in history have 
been done. Religion is the sworn enemy of lib- 
erty, education, science. 

Such a monstrous system of dupery and ex- 
ploitation is totally foreign to a Socialist society; 
firstly, because there is no exploited class to be 
demoralized by religion; secondly, because its 
childish tissue of superstition is impossible in a 
society founded upon Marxian materialism; and 
thirdly, because its slavish moral system is out of 
place, the new Communist moral code developing 
naturally upon the basis of the new modes of pro- 
duction and exchange. 

Religion is now in deep crisis throughout the 


capitalist world. The quarrels between "modern- 
ists" and "fundamentalists" in American churches 
are one form of this crisis. Religion, born in a 
primitive world, finds it extremely difficult to sur- 
vive in a world of industry and great cities. When 
capitalism was young and strong its great scien- 
tists, the Darwins, Spencers and Huxleys, were 
Atheists; but capitalism, grown decrepit and in 
crisis, tries to preserve religion in order to check 
the rebellion of the workers. This is why Einstein 
("cosmic religion"), Millikan, Eddington, and 
other bourgeois scientists now are trying so dili- 
gently to "harmonize science and religion." In 
the U.S.S.R., as it must be in any Socialist 
country, religion dies out in the midst of the grow- 
ing culture. As the factories and schools open the 
churches close. But stories of religious persecu- 
tion in the U.S.S.R. are utterly false, being part 
of the anti- Soviet campaign. Freedom of wor- 
ship exists unrestricted for all those who desire to 
practice. Religious liberty is guaranteed by the 
Soviet Constitution, which declares: 

"In order to guarantee to all workers real freedom of 
conscience, the church is separated from the State and 
the school from the church, and freedom of religious 
and anti-religious propaganda is bestowed on all citizens." 

In the realms of art, literature, music, etc., the 
cultural revolution also proceeds at a rapid pace. 
New standards, freed from the stultifying profit- 


motive, conventionalism and general reactionary 
spirit of capitalism, are being developed in all these 
spheres. In this great field, as in all others, the 
Russian revolution is carrying humanity on to new 
and higher stages. The capitalist world as yet 
has not even an inkling of the profound changes 
involved in the cultural revolution in the U.S.S.R. 

Accomplishing the "Impossible" 

IN CARRYING the revolution on to success the Rus- 
sian toilers have faced difficulties without parallel 
in history. They have had to deal with a whole 
series of problems quite unique in human experi- 
ence. But under the leadership of the Communist 
party, with a clear Marxist-Leninist program, and 
with the irresistible power of the revolutionary 
masses, they have been able to batter their way 
through all of them and to fight on to victory after 
victory. At every step in their hard- won progress, 
they have had to face, as part of the world capi- 
talist attack, a persistent chorus of "It cannot be 
done." And when the Russian workers have 
solved one set of problems their capitalist enemy 
has ignored or grossly misrepresented their victory 
and at once developed a whole group of new 
reasons why the Russian "experiment" could not 
possibly succeed. 

No defenders of capitalism have been more 
energetic in these counter-revolutionary attempts 


to discredit the Soviet Union in the eyes of the toil- 
ing masses than the Social Democrats of the world 
and their American brothers, the A. F. of L. lead- 
ers, the Gompers, Wolls, Greens, etc. It has been 
the special task of the Social Democrats to lend an 
air of Marxism to these capitalist anti- Soviet lies. 
To this end they have macerated, juggled and dis- 
torted Marx to "prove" that the Socialist revolu- 
tion must come first in the countries most advanced 
industrially and that it is impossible in a country 
so backward industrially as old Russia. Every 
capitalist lie against the Soviet Union has been 
fitted into this counter-revolutionary thesis and 
peddled to the masses of workers through the big 
organizations controlled by the Social Democrats. 
Even now, although he becomes ridiculous to the 
whole world, Kautsky, the leading Socialist theo- 
retician, denies that any progress has been made 
towards Socialism in the Soviet Union. 15 He says: 
"Since 1918 the Russian proletariat has sunk ever 
deeper from year to year from the height it reached. 
It is not approaching Socialism but is receding 
farther and farther away from it." 

According to these capitalistic Socialist pes- 
simists, first it was impossible for the Bolsheviki 
to seize the power, and then it was doubly impos- 
sible to defend the new government against the 
armed attacks of world capitalism; next the 
U.S.S.R. could not possibly exist in the face of 

is Bolshevism at a Deadlock, and other writings. 


the capitalist economic and political blockade ; then 
all was surely lost when the great famine of 1921 
came; and as for the introduction of the New 
Economic Policy, which temporarily made some 
concessions to private production and trading 
while the foundations of the Socialist industries 
were being laid, this was hailed as the beginning 
of the end by the gradual re-growth of capitalism ; 
and, of course, it was also quite "impossible" to set 
in order the chaotic financial system by stabilizing 
the ruble, balancing the State budget, etc. 

All these grave problems, and many more that 
could be cited, were indeed extremely difficult. 
Defeat in any one of them would have been a 
major and possibly fatal disaster for the revolu- 
tion. But the heroic Russian workers and peas- 
ants with the Communist party at their head, 
solved them all. Consequently, one after another, 
the capitalist arguments against the revolution 
have been bankrupted in the face of reality. But 
no matter, the capitalists have never failed quickly 
to cook up a new mess of "impossibilities" for the 
Russian revolution, all of which were widely ad- 
vertised among the working class by their Social- 
ist and A. F. of L. tools. 

Especially in the realms of industry were the 
problems of the revolution "insoluble." First it 
was said that never could the "impractical" Bol- 
sheviks put again into operation the industries 
ruined in the long years of world war and civil war 


in 1921 industrial production averaging about 
20% of pre-war, and in the metal industry it was 
as low as 2 % . Lenin's plans at this time for elec- 
trification were typically scoffed at as impossible 
by H. G. Wells, 16 who had imagined so many 
Utopias and bizarre worlds, but whose mind could 
not encompass the hard realities of Leninist policy. 
The Communists, so it was said, could never set 
up a voluntary labor discipline in industry, nor 
hold in line the then semi-starved workers. They 
could not defeat the counter-revolutionary strikes 
and sabotage of the engineers, nor could they pro- 
duce a new supply of technicians and skilled work- 
ers. Later on, when these earlier problems were 
either completely solved or well on the way to 
solution, then the capitalist argument had it that 
the Bolsheviks, although they could restart the old 
industries, never could build new ones; especially 
was the Five- Year Plan absurd, etc. And finally, 
when the great new plants were built and their 
existence impossible to ignore, the capitalist apolo- 
gists, with a myriad voices, declared that the work- 
ers never could learn to operate these modern 

But the workers have overcome all these "im- 
possibilities." One of the most stubborn of all the 
problems they have had to meet is that of securing 
an adequate supply of reliable managers, engi- 
neers, technicians and skilled workers, of building 

i 6 Russia in the Shadows. 


up whole new industrial cadres. This problem has 
been attacked in various ways; the old engineers 
have been disciplined and paid highly, foreign spe- 
cialists have been brought in, including many 
Americans; but the basic approach to the problem 
is the education of new cadres of industrial tech- 
nicians. This is being done on a huge scale. In 
1931 there were 21,000 engineers and technicians 
graduated; in 1932 there will be 38,000. In 1932 
it is planned to graduate from technical colleges 
and schools of all kinds 175,000, from "rabfaks" 
(workers' faculties) 121,000, from factory schools 
364,000. By the end of 1932 there will be a grand 
total of 4,000,000 students in technical colleges, 
rabfaks, factory schools, etc., as against 2,700,000 
in 1931. One of the most striking developments 
in this direction is the Society of Worker Inventors, 
with 700,000 members, at the recent Congress of 
which the slogan was put forward of, "Save one 
billion rubles for the U.S.S.R. in 1932." 

In the second Five- Year Plan it is planned to 
train 1,500,000 technicians and specialists and to 
give technical instruction to from six to seven mil- 
lion workers. Such measures have cracked the 
backbone of this gigantic problem. But the need 
for skilled technical help in the Soviet Union is still 
a burning one. The Americans and other foreign 
engineers will play an important role for some time 
to come; but the Russians themselves, with their 
gigantic educational program, are settling defi- 


nitely the "totally insoluble" problem of the indus- 
trial technician by the creation of a full supply of 
Red factory administrators and engineers, skilled 
workers, etc., out of the Russian working class. 

In Feb., 1931, Stalin, at a great national work- 
ers' production congress, declared : 

"The Bolsheviks mu$t become masters of technique ! 
It is said that technique is difficult. Untrue 1 There are 
no fortresses that Bolsheviks cannot capture. We have 
solved a series of most formidable problems. We have 
overthrown capitalism. We have seized power. We 
have built up a mighty Socialist industry. We have 
turned the middle peasant towards Socialism. The most 
important task of our construction we have accomplished. 
Not much is left to do ; to gain technique, to master 
science. And when this is achieved, our pace shall be- 
come such as we dare not even dream of at present." 

Events are proving Stalin right and the pes- 
simists wrong. The workers are refuting in prac- 
tice the capitalist assertions that they cannot 
operate the new plants being built under the 
Five- Year Plan. The huge problem of taking 
raw peasants from the fields and putting them to 
operate the latest type of modern industry clearly 
is being solved. Likewise that of combining 
democracy and efficiency in the industries. The 
productivity of Russian workers is rapidly rising, 
a 34% increase in three years. Small wonder in- 
deed, with the newness of mass production in the 
U.S.S.R., that there were initial difficulties in 


putting into full production such great plants as 
that in Stalingrad. 

The New York Times, Dec. 1, 1931, declares: 
"The Stalingrad plant began work with 10,000 
hands, a great majority of whom were peasants, 
mostly illiterate, many of whom had never seen 
a machine." It is in the face of such unparalleled 
difficulties that the Russian workers are building 
Socialism. And what has since happened in this 
plant, the "failure" of which was gleefully hailed 
all over the capitalist world ? Duranty says fur- 
ther: "In Stalingrad today the latest American 
machinery is being handled by girls of 20 no less 
efficiently than by men in the factories of Detroit." 
The official production records show for the latter 
months of 1931: Aug. 1866 tractors, Sept. 2151, 
Dec. 2735, Feb. 2875, thus bringing the plant to 
a full program basis. Ford recently praised the 
quality of these tractors. 

"According to the Plan, the Azneft oil fields 
were supposed to reach American rapidity of drill- 
ing only at the end of the Five- Year Plan (1933). 
Several shock-fields, however, caught up to the 
American rates in the latter quarter of 1930," says 
the USSR in Construction, No. 12. 

In the other great industries and modern works 
the same record is to be found. Many difficulties 
are still encountered, as for example recently in 
the Nizhni-Novgorod automobile plant, but these 
are chiefly local in character and are soon over- 


come. Duranty says (New York Times, Jan. 2, 
1932), "1931 did for the first time demonstrate 
that the Soviet Union not only could build great 
producing units but could operate them success- 
fully." And lo, another great capitalist "impos- 
sibility" has gone to smash in the face of the 
revolution. Almost overnight the Russian work- 
ers have mastered mass production. The whole 
history of capitalist development cannot register 
an equal achievement. 

But the extra-special, grand "impossibility" 
confronting the revolution was to win the peas- 
antry to Socialism. This, indeed, it was said, was 
utterly out of the question. The great masses of 
farmers, making up an overwhelming majority of 
the population, were hopelessly attached to the 
institutions of private property and bred-in-the- 
bone enemies of Socialism. Sooner or later they 
were bound to organize and drown out the Com- 
munist party and all its works. 

How the world capitalists and their Socialist 
allies gloated over this prospect ; how they depended 
upon the peasants as their great ace-in-the-hole. 
But alas, it was not to be; the Russian workers and 
peasants also found the answer to this terrific 
problem in the gigantic growth of collectivized 
farming. This has not only won the masses of 
middle peasants for Socialism but has enabled the 
practical liquidation of the rich kulaks as a class. 

Driven from one propaganda "impossibility" to 


another by the achievements of the revolution, 
capitalist apologists are now hard-pressed to find 
new "arguments." An example of their bank- 
ruptcy was given by Isaac Don Levine in a recent 
series of sensationalized articles in the New York 
American. The thesis of Levine is that the capi- 
talists should not worry over the successes of the 
Five- Year Plan because the Soviet Union has no 
basic natural resources anyhow and the whole busi- 
ness is hollow and unimportant. Levine, after a 
reckless twisting, misrepresenting and distorting 
of official Soviet reports, says: "Singularly poor in 
iron, copper, gold and silver, the Soviet Union 
lacks the four essential metals for the attainment 
of the goals set by Stalin's jazzed edition of the 
Five- Year Plan." He says further: "The iron 
found above ground in America in the form of ma- 
chinery, buildings and equipment, exceeds all the 
reserves, visible and possible, in the immense terri- 
tory of the Soviet Union." Then he goes on to 
negate the supply of coal and water power in the 
Soviet Union, to belittle its oil and timber reserves, 
etc., reducing the U.S.S.R. to a beggarly country 
indeed in point of resources. 

Now what are the facts ? First of all, it must 
be borne in mind that the U.S.S.R. has been as 
yet but sketchily prospected for its mineral wealth. 
It is only now that this work is being systematically 
undertaken, and almost daily reports arrive of the 
discovery of new resources. Already, with vast 


regions still practically unexplored, the U.S.S.R. 
has known raw materials resources of gigantic, if 
not unequalled proportions. It has a super- 
abundance of practically all the basic materials 
necessary for the building of a great industrial 

(1) Coal: by 1930 the known coal deposits of the 
U.S.S.R. were conservatively estimated at 700 
billion tons, putting it fourth as a coal country. 
Besides this, however, there are rich, undeveloped 
deposits in Siberia, stretching over an area as large 
as Belgium. (2) Oil: the U.S.S.R. is the first 
country with regard to oil reserves, containing 
35 % of known world supplies and with new fields 
being discovered from time to time. (3) Water 
power: already, as we have seen, the second Five- 
Year Plan definitely provides for a greater elec- 
trical power development than that of the United 
States, the most of it from water projects, and 
with much still undeveloped. The Angara River 
power possibilities are 30 times as much as the 
great Dnieperstroy. (4) Iron: the largest iron 
ore deposits in the world are the new Kursk fields ; 
Prof. Gubkin (Soviet Yearbook, 1930), estimates 
these at 40 billion tons of high class ore, and says, 
"Preliminary computations permit us to conjec- 
ture that the Kursk iron ores will probably double 
the known world resources of iron ore." (5) Cop- 
per: until recently the known supplies were lim- 
ited; but large deposits have lately been found in 


Kazakstan, and in Feb., 1932, a great new field 
was reported from the Okhostk-Udsk region, with 
deposits of rich quality and extending over 20 
square kilometers. (6) Manganese: of this metal 
the U.S.S.R. contains the world's greatest deposits. 
(7) Platinum: same as in case of manganese. 

(9) Gold: important new fields have heen found 
which will make U.S.S.R. a chief world producer. 

(10) Silver: a weak spot but new developments 
are extending production. (11) Timber: the 
U.S.S.R. has the greatest body of standing timber 
in the world. The bourgeoisie, seeking reasons 
why "it cannot be done," will have to look in some 
other direction than that of supplies of raw 

The capitalist arguments that "it is impossible" 
also found their echoes within the Communist party 
of the Soviet Union, where they reflected the 
despair of the defeated and declining capitalist 
remnants in the U.S.S.R. Their outspoken rep- 
resentative was Trotzky. He formulated theories 
that it was impossible to build Socialism in one 
country that first the world revolution was nec- 
essary; that the Party was degenerating and sur- 
rendering to a rapid growth of capitalist elements 
in city and country; that the Socialist industry 
development was destined to go on in a declining 
curve of new production; that the Soviet Union 
had abandoned the world revolution, etc. The 
logic of his position would have led to the precipi- 


tation of abortive and fatal Communist revolts 
abroad and disastrous civil war at home against 
the great middle masses of peasants. All this 
would have surely defeated the revolution. 

Such, in brief, was the "left" deviation, which 
was Menshevism in thin disguise, an opportunist 
retreat from the hard struggle under cover of 
"left" phrases. Then there was the openly right 
deviation, led by Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky. 
The rights were alarmed at the rapid speed of in- 
dustrialization; they were frightened at the sharp 
class struggle against the kulaks; they feared the 
workers would not stand the strain of carrying out 
the Five- Year Plan; they believed it impossible to 
raise the gigantic amounts of necessary capital in 
the face of the world capitalist financial blockade 
against the Soviet Union; they scoffed at the pros- 
pect of building the State farms and collectives. 
As a result of their wrong analysis, they wanted to 
make concessions to the kulaks and to slow down 
the fast tempo of industrialization. This, like 
Trotzky's plans, would have been a fatal error. It 
would have strengthened the capitalist elements in 
the U.S.S.R. and disastrously checked the growth 
of Socialism. 

The capitalist world was filled with great hope 
by the development of these deviations, which were 
the subject of wide discussion in the Russian Com- 
munist party from 1926-29. Surely now, it was 
said, the Party will be split and the Soviet govern- 


ment disastrously weakened, if not overthrown. 
But again their hopes came to naught. Under the 
leadership of the Central Committee so ably headed 
by Stalin, the Party masses, supported by the 
working class generally, rejected and completely 
crushed first Trotzkyism and then the openly right 
deviation. Trotzky later developed a definitely 
counter-revolutionary position; he is now capital- 
ism's chief maligner and slanderer of the Soviet 
Union, the whole bourgeois press being open and 
willing to pay for his attacks upon the Party and 
the U.S.S.R. 

Life has fully justified the position of the Party 
in these historic controversies. The final answer to 
both the "left" and right deviations is the tremen- 
dous success of the Five-Year Plan, with its 
gigantic growth of Socialist industry and collectiv- 
ized farming, burning enthusiasm of the workers, 
rising living standards of the toiling masses, the 
winning of the middle peasants for Socialism, the 
practical liquidation of the kulaks and nepmen, 
the great perspectives opened up by the second 
Five-Year Plan, the growing world prestige and 
revolutionizing effect of the Soviet Union upon 
the enslaved masses in all countries, and, in conse- 
quence of all this, the greatest degree of unity that 
the Russian Communist party has ever known. 

The building of Socialism in the Soviet Union 
still confronts many great problems. And the 
Socialist system there will continue to face grave 


dangers and difficulties until the world power of 
the bourgeoisie is broken by the world's workers. 
But its inner problems are those of a successful, 
growing new social order. Socialism in the U.S. 
S.R. has definitely proved its soundness. At the 
XVI Party Congress Stalin thus put the question : 

"When we speak of our difficulties, we have in view not 
decline and not stagnation in our development, but the 
growth of our forces, the surging upwards of our forces, 
the forward march, of our economy. How many points 
to advance by a given date, by what percentage to in- 
crease our output, how many more million hectares to 
sow, how many months earlier than the plan to build a 
works, a factory, a railway our difficulties, in contra- 
distinction to the difficulties of, say, America or Britain, 
are difficulties of growth, difficulties of progress." 

Socialism and Communism 

THE FINAL aim of the Communist International is 
to overthrow world capitalism and replace it by 
world Communism, "the basis for which has been 
laid by the whole course of historical development." 
On this the Program of the Communist Interna- 
tional says : 

"Communist society will abolish the class division of 
society, i.e., simultaneously with the anarchy in produc- 
tion, it will abolish all forces of exploitation and oppres- 
sion of man by man. Society will no longer consist of 
antagonistic classes in conflict with each other, but will 
represent a united commonwealth of labor. For the first 


time in its history mankind will take its fate into its own 
hands. Instead of destroying innumerable human lives 
and incalculable wealth in struggles between classes and 
nations, mankind will devote all its energies to the strug- 
gle against the forces of nature, to the development and 
strengthening of its own collective might." 

The future Communist society will be Stateless. 
With private property in industry and land abol- 
ished (but, of course, not in articles of personal 
use) , with exploitation of the toilers ended, and with 
the capitalist class finally defeated and all classes 
liquidated, there will then be no further need for 
the State, which in its essence, is an organ of class 
repression. The revolutionary State of the period 
of transition from capitalism to Communism, the 
dictatorship of the proletariat, will, in the words of 
Engels, "wither away" and be replaced by a scien- 
tific technical "administration of things." The 
present planning boards in the Soviet Union are 
forerunners of such a Stateless society. 

Under Communism the guiding principle will be: 
"From each according to his ability, to each accord- 
ing to his needs." That is, the distribution of life 
necessities food, clothing, shelter, education, etc. 
will be free, without let or hindrance. Commu- 
nist production, carried out upon the most efficient 
basis and freed from the drains of capitalist ex- 
ploiters, will provide such an abundance of neces- 
sary commodities that there will be plenty for all 
with a minimum of effort. There will then be no 


need for pinch-penny measuring and weighing. 
Proletarian discipline and solidarity will be quite 
sufficient to prevent possible idlers from taking 
advantage of this free regime of distribution by 
either refusing to work or by unsocial wasting. 

The Communist system will bring the greatest 
advance in culture and general well-being of the 
masses in the history of the human race. The 
present progress in the Soviet Union in this re- 
spect is only a bare indication of the tremendous 
developments to come. Industry, freed from capi- 
talist anarchy and exploitation, will develop a high 
efficiency and lay the basis for genuine mass pros- 
perity. Culture, emancipated from bourgeois 
class ends, will become the property of the masses 
and pass to new and higher levels. 

The road to this social development can only be 
opened by revolution. This is because the question 
of power is involved. The capitalist class, like an 
insatiable blood-sucker, hangs to the body of the 
toiling masses and can be dislodged only by force. 
But when the workers have conquered power, how- 
ever, then the way is clear for an orderly de- 
velopment of society by a process of evolution. 
Naturally, even after capitalism has been over- 
thrown and the power taken by the workers, society 
cannot simply leap to a complete Communist sys- 
tem. There are stages of development to be gone 
through. The first of these is the transition period 
from the overthrow of capitalism to the establish- 


ment of Socialism; then there is the period of 
Socialism, which is the first phase of Communism. 
The complete realization of Socialism and Com- 
munism in any country implies the defeat of the 
world bourgeoisie. 

The Soviet Union has been passing through the 
transition period from the overthrow of capitalism 
to the establishment of Socialism. It has been 
laying the economic and social foundations of 
Socialism by the building of a great system of 
socialized industry and agriculture, by raising the 
living and cultural standards of the toiling masses, 
by decisively defeating the nepmen and kulaks, 
remnants of the old exploiting classes. The foun- 
dations of the Socialist economy are being com- 
pleted with the carrying out of the Five-Year 
Plan. Capitalism has been decisively defeated in 
the Soviet Union. Molotov says: "The funda- 
mental Leninist question 'who will beat whom' has 
been decided against capitalism and in favor of 

The second Five-Year Plan carries the Soviet 
Union definitely into the period of Socialism; the 
resolution of the XVII conference of the Com- 
munist party of the Soviet Union says : "The funda- 
mental political task of the second Five-Year Plan 
is the final liquidation of the capitalist class and of 
classes in general, the complete removal of the 
causes which produce class differences and exploi- 
tation, the overcoming of the remnants of capital- 


ism in economy and in the minds of the people, the 
conversion of the whole of the working population 
of the country into conscious and active builders 
of the classless Socialist society." But, says Molo- 
tov, the stage of Socialism, "will not by a long way 
be ended in the second five-year period." 

On the general characteristics of the Socialist 
stage of development and its relation to Com- 
munism, the Program of the Communist Inter- 
national says : 

"This higher stage of Communism, the stage in which 
Communist society has already developed on its own 
foundations, in which an enormous growth of social pro- 
ductive forces has accompanied the manifold development 
of man pre-supposes, as an historical condition prece- 
dent, a lower stage of development, the stage of Socialism. 
At this lower stage Communist society only just emerges 
from capitalist society and bears all the economic, ethical 
and intellectual birthmarks it has inherited from the 
society from whose womb it is just emerging. The pro- 
ductive forces of Socialism are not yet sufficiently de- 
veloped to assure a distribution of products of labor 
according to needs ; these are distributed according to 
the amount of labor expended. Division of labor, i.e., the 
system whereby certain groups perform certain labor 
functions, and especially the distinction between mental 
and manual labor, still exists. Although classes are 
abolished, traces of the old class divisions of society, and, 
consequently, remnants of the proletarian State power, 
coercion, laws, still exist. Consequently, certain traces 
of inequality which have not yet managed to die out 
altogether, still remain. The antagonism between town 


and country has not yet been entirely removed. But none 
of these survivals of former society is protected or de- 
fended by any social force. Being the product of a 
definite level of productive forces, they will disappear 
as rapidly as mankind, freed from the fetters of the capi- 
talist system, subjugates the forces of nature, re- 
educates itself in the spirit of Communism, and passes 
from Socialism to complete Communism." 

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat 

THE PROLETARIAN revolution marks the birth of real 
democracy. For the first time the toiling masses 
become free. Under chattel slavery, feudalism 
and capitalism they were oppressed and enslaved, 
merely the forms of this slavery changing with the 
varying modes of exploitation. All the capitalist 
"democracies," the United States included, are 
only the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, masked 
with hypocritical democratic pretenses. But the 
proletarian revolution, by doing away with private 
ownership of the social means of production and 
distribution and by abolishing the exploitation of 
the toilers, destroys the very foundations of en- 
slavement and lays the groundwork for the estab- 
lishment of a true democracy in which there are 
neither oppressors nor oppressed. 

The first form of the new toilers' democracy 
after the overthrow of capitalism is the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. Of this type of State Marx 


said, with wonderful penetration, over two genera- 
tions ago: 

"Between capitalist and Communist society there lies a 
period of revolutionary transformation from the former 
to the latter. A stage of political transition corresponds 
to this period, and the State during this period can be 
no other than the revolutionary dictatorship of the pro- 

The dictatorship of the proletariat, unlike the 
capitalist dictatorship, makes no pretenses of being 
an all-class democracy, a democracy of both ex- 
ploiters and exploited. It is frankly a democracy 
of the toiling masses, directed against the ex- 
ploiters. Its freedom is only for useful producers, 
not for social parasites. Lenin, writing before the 
Russian revolution, says: "Together with an im- 
mense expansion of democracy for the first time 
becoming democracy of the poor, democracy of the 
people and not democracy of the rich folk the 
dictatorship of the proletariat will produce a whole 
series of restrictions of liberty in the case of the 
oppressors, exploiters and capitalists." 

The dictatorship of the proletariat, or the Work- 
ers' and Farmers' government, is a kind of State. 
Lenin thus defines a State: "The State is a par- 
ticular form of organization of force; it is the or- 
ganization of violence for the holding down of some 
class." Thus the capitalist State, strong right arm 
of the bourgeoisie, has as its basic function, the 

17 The State and Revolution, p. 90. 


holding by force of the working class under capi- 
talist exploitation. But, Lenin goes on to ex- 
plain: "What is the class which the proletariat must 
hold down? It can only be, naturally, the exploit- 
ing class, i.e., the bourgeoisie." The fundamental 
difference between the capitalist State and the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, however, is that the 
former is the rule of a small, exploiting minority, 
and it perpetuates this rule by force and dema- 
gogy; while the latter is the rule of the great toil- 
ing majority and it directs its power towards 
abolishing every form of exploitation and the 
liquidation of the exploiting classes. The Pro- 
gram of the Communist International says : 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat is a continuation 
of the class struggle under new conditions. The dicta- 
torship of the proletariat is a stubborn fight bloody and 
bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, 
pedagogical and administrative against the remnants 
of the exploiting classes within the country, against the 
upshoots of the new bourgeoisie that spring up on the 
basis of the still prevailing commodity production.'* 

To establish the dictatorship of the proletariat 
it is not merely a question of making over the de- 
feated capitalist government. Engels states in his 
1888 preface to the Communist Manifesto: "One 
thing especially was proved by the (Paris) Com- 
mune, viz., that the working class cannot simply lay 
hold of the ready-made State machinery and wield 
it for its own purposes." The capitalist State 


must be broken down and the Workers' State built 
from the ground up on entirely different princi- 
ples, and this was done in the U.S.S.R,. In doing 
so it has been necessary to set up a powerful Red 
Army and the well-known O.G.P.U. to defend 
the revolution against the capitalist attacks from 
within and without. 

The dictatorship of the proletariat is the demo- 
cratic rule of the toiling masses, with the working 
class in the lead, developing the revolutionary 
program and forming the core of the revolutionary 
organization. The Program of the Communist In- 
ternational says : 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat implies that the 
industrial workers alone are capable of leading the entire 
mass of the toilers. On the other hand, while represent- 
ing the dictatorship of a single class, the dictatorship of 
the proletariat at the same time represents a special form 
of class alliance between the proletariat, as the vanguard 
of the toiling masses, and the numerous non-proletarian 
sections of the toiling masses, or the majority of them. 
It represents an alliance for the complete overthrow of 
capital, for the complete suppression of the opposition 
of the bourgeoisie and its attempts at restoration, an 
alliance aiming at the complete building up and consoli- 
dation of Socialism." 

Only when the capitalist class is decisively beaten 
on a national and international scale and class lines 
finally broken down will the workers' need for a 
State die out and the proletarian dictatorship 
"wither away." Under the classless, Stateless 


regime of Communism there will exist a broad and 
genuine freedom such as the world heretofore has 
not even remotely approached. Lenin says in his 
The State and Revolution, p. 91 : 

"Only then will be possible and will be realized a really 
full democracy, a democracy without any exceptions. 
And only then will democracy itself begin to wither away 
in virtue of the simple fact that, freed from capitalist 
slavery, from the innumerable horrors, savagery, absurdi- 
ties, and infamies of capitalist exploitation, people will 
gradually become accustomed to the observance of the 
elementary rules of social life, known for centuries, re- 
peated for thousands of years in all sermons. They will 
become accustomed to their observance without force, 
without constraint, without subjection, without the spe- 
cial apparatus for compulsion which is called the State." 

The government of the Soviet Union is a dicta- 
torship of the proletariat, or rule of the workers. 
For the toiling masses of factory and farm it es- 
tablishes a genuine democracy, a democracy totally 
different from and incomparably in advance of the 
so-called democracy of the capitalist countries. 
But, as we have remarked, this democracy does not 
extend to the exploiting classes, or rather what is 
left of them. The Soviet government, as a Work- 
ers' State, is liquidating these classes and the whole 
system of robbery upon which their rule was based. 
The economic and political power of the big capi- 
talists and landlords has been completely shattered 
and they no longer exist as a class ; now the kulaks 
(rich farmers) and nepmen (petty traders) are 


going the same way into social oblivion as classes. 
All this has not been accomplished without the 
sharpest struggle which, in its early stages, 
amounted to civil war. But the current blood- 
curdling stories of violence and persecution are 
gross fabrications, circulated by capitalist agents 
to discredit the Soviet Union in the eyes of the 
world's toilers. 

Citizenship in the Soviet democracy is based 
upon work, only those doing useful labor being 
allowed to vote. The parasitic remnants, such as 
ex-nobles, Czarist officers, landlords, capitalists, 
clericals, etc., are disfranchised. There are no 
qualifications of sex, nationality, residence, etc.; 
whoever works can vote. The Soviets are made 
up of representatives coming directly from the 
toiling masses, from the factories and the villages. 
Not wealth, as in all the capitalist countries, but 
actual service to society, is the foundation of citi- 
zenship in the U.S.S.R. 

Not only in politics do the toiling masses exer- 
cise their democracy, but also in every field of 
social organization and activity. The trade unions, 
based upon factory committees, establish an indus- 
trial democracy completely without parallel in any 
other part of the world. Even in the realms of 
art and science and literature, the influence, direct 
and indirect, of the working masses in the factories 
and fields is felt. For example, the formula- 
tion of the second Five- Year Plan is being made 


on the basis of the broadest mass discussion. 
Duranty says, (New York Times, Mar. 5, 1932) : 
"Every stage of the work is subjected to full dis- 
cussion by workers, party members, executives and 
government officials." In no country in the world 
do the toilers enjoy such free speech, right of or- 
ganization and general participation in every social 
institution as in the Soviet Union. Tales about 
the personal dictatorship of Stalin, about "forced 
labor," about the suppression of the freedom of 
the masses, are, like the earlier stories about 
the "nationalization of women," etc., plain lies. 
Charges by enemies that the Soviet system is an 
oppressive autocracy conflict fatally with their 
other charges that there is so much democracy in 
industry that it interferes with efficiency. 

Lenin says: "The Soviet democracy consists of 
workers organized so informally that for the first 
time the people as a whole are learning to gov- 
ern." 18 To carry out their democratic activities 
in all social fields, the Russian workers and peas- 
ants have built up the most gigantic mass organiza- 
tions in human history. These stretch over all 
phases of the economic, political and social life, and 
are of decisive influence. Among the more impor- 
tant of them are the Communist organizations 
proper (the Party, the Youth and the Pioneers) 
with about 15,000,000 members all told, the trade 
unions with 17,000,000, and the consumers' co- 

is The Soviets at Work. 


operatives with 70,000,000. Besides, there are 
many more vast organizations for culture, defense, 
sport, aviation, etc., containing scores of millions 
of members. The Soviet electorate, numbering 
85,000,000 voters, is by far the largest in the world. 
These tremendous mass organizations of toilers, 
entirely without comparison in capitalist countries, 
are the very backbone of the whole Soviet system. 
They are all growing very rapidly, an example 
being the Party, which has increased seven-fold, 
from 440,000 members to 2,800,000, since the death 
of Lenin. 

While the workers in all capitalist countries face 
ever-increasing tendencies towards Fascism and 
the denial of their most elementary rights, in the 
Soviet Union the workers and peasants are build- 
ing a great new freedom. In the comparison, 
fatal to the world capitalist system, of the decaying 
capitalism as against the rising Socialism, this fact 
has a vital significance that the oppressed toilers 
of the world will not fail to understand. It is one 
of the revolutionary nails that are being driven into 
the coffin of moribund capitalism. 

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union 

THE LEADER and organizer of the proletarian dic- 
tatorship is the Communist party. In a Socialist 
society, based upon the workers and farmers and 
where the aim of the government is to advance 


solely the interests of these toiling masses, there 
is room for only one Party, the Communist Party. 
Of course, in the capitalist countries the Socialists 
and other defenders of the pseudo-democracy of 
capitalism protest against this situation and de- 
mand the right of political organization for the 
remnants of the old exploiting classes. But what 
stupidity it would be for the victorious workers, 
whose aim it is to liquidate all classes, to permit 
these counter-revolutionary elements to organize 
themselves into political parties and thus enable 
them to sabotage the new regime, to fight for the re- 
establishment of their system of robbing the work- 
ers and generally to act as a barrier to the 
progress of the new society. 

It is a capitalist lie that pictures the Russian 
Communist party as a sort of clique ruling over 
the masses. On the contrary, the doors of the 
Party, although they are closed against the rem- 
nants of the former ruling classes, are wide open 
to all earnest workers and poor farmers who accept 
its full program and are willing to perform the 
hard tasks which it demands of its members. A 
great mass organization itself and growing by 
leaps and bounds, the Communist party gives all 
possible stimulation to the other vast mass organiza- 
tions which, under its general leadership, are the 
foundations of the proletarian democracy. The 
toiling masses of the Soviet Union know that the 
Communist party is their great leader and they 


give it their enthusiastic support. They have 
learned from long years of the bitterest struggle 
any people has ever passed through that the Party 
of Lenin is the only Party of the revolution. 

The Russian Communist party is unique in 
function and structure. As the Party of the toil- 
ers it has the responsibility of facing and solving 
every major problem of the revolution. It is the 
Communist party that works out the basic line of 
action in all spheres of the economic and political 
life. As the crystallization of the most class con- 
scious elements of the toiling masses, it gives the 
revolutionary lead in every direction. For this 
purpose its structure is especially adapted, being 
based upon nuclei (units) in the shops, villages, 
army, trade unions, cooperatives, schools, Soviets 
and every other institution. It is thus part of the 
very flesh and bone of the toilers everywhere. 
Without a doubt, the Russian Communist party, 
with its manifold tasks and roots deep into the 
masses, is by far the most complicated and highest 
type of organization ever developed by mankind 
in all its history. 

The Communist party is the brain and heart and 
nerves of the Russian revolution, and so it must 
be in any proletarian revolution. It makes the 
most severe demands upon its membership. They 
must be models of proletarian courage, initiative, 
energy and resourcefulness. They are the leaven 
that lightens the whole lump. In the bitter civil 


war they were the leaders and inspirers at the fight- 
ing front. In the dark period of the great hunger 
and famine it was the Communists who set the 
example of self-denial and encouragement for the 
masses. And now, in the building of Socialism, 
it is they, who, in the face of incredible obstacles, 
are carrying through the great Five- Year Plan to 
success, to the amazement of the whole capitalist 
world. In every crisis it is the Communists who 
fling themselves into the breach; for every great 
problem it is they who come forward with the solu- 
tion and militantly apply it. That is why the 
Party of Lenin stands unchallenged as the leader 
of the masses in the Soviet Union. 

The Communist party of the U.S.S.R. is based 
upon the principles of democratic centralism, de- 
veloped by Lenin. That is, first the decision is 
democratically arrived at by the widest mass dis- 
cussion and then, the discussion closed, the policy 
is executed with strong discipline and the mobiliza- 
tion of all possible forces. This is an irresistible 
combination. The mass discussion lays the basis 
not only for a correct decision but also for the dis- 
cipline necessary to carry it through effectively. 
The Communist party of the Soviet Union is in- 
comparably more democratic than the Socialist 
parties, the A. F. of L. and other conservative 
trade unions of the world. These organizations, 
with their hard bureaucratic ruling cliques and 
their contempt for the masses, are true expressions 


of the autocratic capitalist system of which they 
are such loyal defenders. The Communist party 
is the bearer of the first real democracy in the mod- 
ern world. 

A recent example of the workings of Com- 
munist democratic centralism was seen in con- 
nection with the struggle against Trotzkyism and 
the right deviation. These issues were the sub- 
jects of the broadest mass discussions, no other 
country or organization in the world has seen the 
like. Not only the Party membership but millions 
of other workers were involved. The results were 
briefly: a fundamental and mass analysis of every 
angle of the industrialization and other problems 
confronting the U.S.S.R.; the crystallization of a 
clear policy, backed by a solid mass opinion united 
and clarified in the great discussion; the over- 
whelming defeat of Trotzky and Bukharin, both 
ideologically and by the almost unanimous vote of 
the workers; the achievement of an unparalleled 
unification of the Party; and finally, the building 
up of a militant and intelligent mass discipline and 
mobilization of forces which is the basis of the ter- 
rific pace in carrying through the Five- Year Plan. 
Democratic centralism, the expression of the fun- 
damental democracy of the workers and their natu- 
ral discipline, bodes ill for the capitalist system. 

The proof of the effectiveness of the Russian 
Communist party and its program stands amply 
demonstrated by life itself. It is the Communist 


party that has led and organized the toiling masses 
to the accomplishment of all the "impossibilities" 
of building Socialism in the Soviet Union. It is 
the Communist parties in the other countries, led 
by the Communist International and supported by 
the masses, that will strike the death-blow to world 
capitalism and build Socialism universally. The 
Soviet Union, the crystallization of the Communist 
program in life, and the shock-brigade of the world 
proletariat, rising and flourishing with its great 
revolutionary strength in the midst of a decaying, 
declining capitalist system, is the hope and guar- 
antee of a new life for the starved and exploited 
of the earth. 



(a) Quack Capitalist Economic Remedies 

IN CHAPTER i we have seen that the capitalists all 
over the world try to find a way out of the crisis 
for themselves by throwing the burden of the 
crisis upon the workers and poor farmers through 
wage-cuts, reductions in social insurance, speed-up 
in industry, lengthening of working hours, tax laws 
directed against the producers, inflation of the cur- 
rency, etc., by intensifying their competition 
against each other through tariffs, dumping, rate 
wars, etc., and by preparing to deluge the world 
with a new blood-bath of war. 

This is the main line of capitalist policy. Be- 
sides, and in connection with it, the capitalists have 
developed a whole series of additional "remedies" 
to cure the economic weaknesses of capitalism and 
to shield the capitalists from their effects. It is 
with these measures especially that we shall now 
deal. They have to do with both of the major 
contradictions of capitalism; the economic gap be- 
tween the producing and consuming powers of the 
masses, and the class conflict between the capital- 



ists and the exploited masses of workers and farm- 
ers. First let us deal with those of an economic 

The Rationalization of Industry 

IN THE years following the World War the capi- 
talist countries, under stress of the growing eco- 
nomic crisis, developed a world-wide movement for 
the rationalization of industry. In this the United 
States took the lead. Mass production, the speed- 
up in industry, became the cure-all for capitalism. 
Ford was worshipped as the patron saint of the 
capitalists everywhere. American speed-up meth- 
ods spread themselves throughout the capitalist 
world. The League of Nations officially supported 

True to their role as "agents of the bour- 
geoisie," the Socialist parties in the various coun- 
tries took up the program of the rationalization of 
industry and made a fetish of it. They even be- 
came more enthusiastic than the capitalists them- 
selves. They put it forward to the masses not only 
as the way to capitalist prosperity, but also the 
golden road to the gradual establishment of So- 
cialism. The British Labor Party and trade 
unions became a tail to the speed-up plans of Mond 
and other industrialists, endorsing the League of 
Nations' rationalization program, the first pro- 
vision of which is "to secure the maximum efficiency 
of labor with the minimum of effort." The Ger- 


man Social Democracy was no whit behind, its 
unions declaring that: "In full agreement with the 
memorandum of the German industrialists, we con- 
sider that rationalization is the most important 
condition for the well-being of the nation." The 
Socialist party of the United States, including the 
Muste "left" group, grew no less enthusiastic over 
this bosses' plan to still more sharply exploit the 

The leaders of the American Federation of 
Labor, of course, fell into step with the bosses for 
the rationalization of industry. Their main pol- 
icy, variously expressed as the B. & O. Plan, the 
"higher strategy of labor," and the "new wage pol- 
icy," was collaboration with the bosses to increase 
production. Industrial efficiency became the tin 
god of trade unionism. Wm. Green said, Ameri- 
can Federationist, (Jan., 1928) : "The Union is the 
workers' business agency for industrial efficiency." 
The trade union leaders made a strong plea to the 
capitalists to let them organize their workers for 
joint exploitation. They declared that the labor 
movement had come to maturity; the class struggle 
was over; class consciousness was out-of-date; now 
nothing remained to do but cooperate with the 
capitalists for the industrial speed-up, which would 
automatically benefit everybody. They hired ef- 
ficiency engineers for the unions and set out arm- 
in-arm with the employers to drive the workers 
ever faster in industry. 


But now the whole rationalization of industry 
movement is ideologically bankrupt. While the 
bosses, of course, seek to increase the speed-up in 
the plants that are operating, it is patent for all 
who have eyes to see that it offers no solution for 
the crisis. The entire rationalization of industry 
philosophy was based upon the illusion that capi- 
talist markets automatically extend themselves to 
absorb capitalist production. But in reality the 
rationalization movement, by hugely developing 
the productivity of labor while the consuming 
power of the masses lagged far behind, greatly 
sharpened the major contradiction between capi- 
talist production and markets, and it was one of 
the main factors in bringing about the present 
world-wide economic collapse. That which was to 
save capitalism just about ruined it. 

The American "New Capitalism" 

THE RATIONALIZATION movement reached its high- 
est pitch in the United States. Here it was based 
on the principles of mass production and "high" 
wages, "protection" and inflation of the home mar- 
ket by sky-high tariffs and installment buying, and 
a militant imperialistic drive all over the world to 
conquer markets for capital and other commodi- 
ties. This was the so-called new capitalism. 

This "new capitalism" was hailed as ushering in 
a new era. Its proponents declared that it pro- 


vided the way to liquidate the conflict between 
capitalist production and exchange, and that, con- 
sequently, it had solved the tormenting cyclical 
crisis. The "new capitalism" was to abolish pov- 
erty, to do away with the class struggle and to 
open up an endless perspective of industrial devel- 
opment. Its champions boastfully shouted that 
Ford had hopelessly beaten Marx and that there 
never could be a revolution in the United States. 
And all the capitalist world, harassed by the ever- 
encroaching general crisis, looked to the American 
capitalist heaven with wonder and hope, patterning 
after it as best they could. The Social Fascists 
of the world hailed the movement as the savior of 
capitalism. Even in the ranks of the American 
Communist party the theory found expression; 
Lovestone, later expelled, developing the notion 
that American capitalism provided an exception to 
the general laws of capitalism. 

But what a sad awakening was in store. The 
American capitalist dream has turned into a dread- 
ful nightmare. The terrible economic crisis is 
upon us again and with more devastating effects 
than ever before. It is exactly in the United 
States where the drop in production has been most 
catastrophic, where the army of the unemployed is 
the largest. Mass production has flooded the lim- 
ited markets with a tidal wave of unsaleable com- 
modities; "high" wages have turned out to be a 
tragic joke in the face of the gigantic unemploy- 


ment and wholesale wage-cuts. The "new capi- 
talism" has proved itself to be very much a part 
of the old capitalism of the rest of the world. The 
savior very badly needs saving. And the purse- 
proud Ajnerican businessman is humiliated in the 
eyes of the whole capitalist world. Indeed, his 
erstwhile admirer, Mussolini, was unkind enough 
recently even to blame the world economic crisis 
upon exactly the boasted American mass produc- 
tion. After all, Marxism has triumphed over 

In the "new capitalism" the thing counted upon 
to cure the basic economic weakness of capitalism 
was "high" wages. Its advocates, with Ford at 
their head, had a glimmering of the menacing con- 
tradiction between the producing and consuming 
powers of the masses, of the folly of going ahead 
developing production on the simple theory of 
unlimited markets. In words at least they recog- 
nized the necessity of increasing the low purchas- 
ing power of the masses. Their whole conception 
was best developed by Foster and Catchings in 
their books, Business Without a Buyer and The 
Road to Plenty. They argued, with their theory 
of "financing the buyer," that economic crises 
could be averted if, at the first sign of such, the 
declining purchasing power of the masses was 
promptly bolstered up by the initiation of broad 
building programs. President Hoover, as is 
known, was an advocate of this theory. 


But it was all a sham and a delusion. The so- 
called "financing of the buyer" never took place 
under the "new capitalism," nor could it. To sup- 
pose otherwise is to assume the possibility of the 
capitalists progressively giving up their profits. 
The alleged high wages during the heyday of this 
theory were confined almost entirely to the skilled 
workers. The gains to the buying power of the 
masses in this respect were more than offset by the 
accompanying huge increases in industrial and 
agricultural productivity. The whole thing was 
only an elaborate method of intensified rational- 
ization of industry. The exploitation of the work- 
ers was increased, not diminished. The mass of 
surplus value taken by the employers was relatively 
and actually greater, not less. The basic economic 
effect was to still further widen the gap between 
the producing and consuming powers of the 
masses. This deepening of the economic contra- 
diction is graphically illustrated by the following 
figures, taken from Tugwell's Industry's Coming 
of Age and the 1927 U. S. Census of Manufac- 
tures : 

Wages paid Value added ly manufacture 

1914 $ 4,009,000,000 $ 9,224,000,000 

1923 11,000,000,000 25,832,000,000 

1927 10,800,000,000 27,500,000,000 

During the Coolidge period American capitalism 
was able to make a great show of prosperity, not 
because it had overcome the major economic 


contradiction of capitalism, but because of a 
whole series of temporarily advantageous factors. 
Among these were the huge loans to war-stricken 
Europe, which translated themselves largely into 
exports of manufactured goods; the easy conquest 
of world markets by powerful American imperial- 
ism, unscathed by the war, in the face of the 
broken-down European competitors ; the growth of 
the automobile industry; the development of in- 
stallment buying, which for a time artificially 
stimulated the market, etc. 

But these erstwhile favorable factors have now 
radically altered. The automobile industry has 
become more than saturated; the installment sys- 
tem has exploded; exports have fallen off, with 
the European capitalist powers constantly meeting 
the United States with a sharper competition, etc. 
Hence, the inner contradictions of American im- 
perialism are able to manifest themselves with full 
force and they are doing so with a vengeance. 
When Hoover blames Europe and the war for the 
crisis he is only a shallow apologist for capitalism. 
The fact is that American capitalism, like world 
capitalism in general, is rotten at the heart. The 
present great economic world crisis began in the 
United States. 

The crisis has shown conclusively just how feeble 
and artificial was the American plan of "financing 
the buyer." At the outset of the crisis President 
Hoover made many spectacular gestures in line 


with this theory. He called national conferences 
of industrialists, bankers, and "labor leaders." 
Then he filled the country with rosy prophecies 
that the crisis would be promptly liquidated by the 
gigantic building, no-wage-cut program outlined 
by his conferences. 

But the whole thing turned out an inglorious 
fizzle. The "financing of the buyer" degenerated 
into an attempt by Hoover to exorcize the crisis 
by pollyanna prosperity ballyhoo. The "great" 
construction program developed into the biggest 
sag the building industry has ever known. Even 
the government building program failed to mate- 
rialize, the New York American, (Mar. 16, 1932), 
stating, "The total expended on public works (na- 
tional, state, local) was actually less in 1931 than 
in 1929." And as for keeping up wage scales, 
hardly were the Hoover conferences concluded 
than the wage-cuts began, and since then sweeping 
slashes have taken place in the railroad, mining, 
steel, textile and many other industries. The 
Grand Lama of the "high" wage theory, Ford 
himself, has also put through general wage-cuts. 
Likewise, the government, locally and nationally, 
is reducing wages in every direction. 

But the most graphic repudiation of the scheme 
of "financing the buyer" is to be found in the 
starvation unemployment relief system of the 
Hoover government. The throwing of 12,000,- 
000 workers into unemployment gave the market 


an awful jolt because of the reduction in the gen- 
eral purchasing power of the masses. Here was 
a good chance to "finance the buyer" by giving 
the unemployed a system of government insur- 
ance. But instead they have been given only the 
most miserable charity dole. To do otherwise 
would touch the sacred profits of the bosses. The 
only elements to which the Hoover government 
has extended assistance in the crisis are the banks, 
the railroads, the big taxpayers. 

Thus the fire of the economic crisis exposes the 
fact that the results of the "new capitalism" are 
the same basically as those of capitalist imperialism 
generally, only more ruthless and devastating. 
The American capitalist class is as deep in the 
mud as its European rivals are in the mire, and 
like them, it throws the burdens of the crisis upon 
the working class, it rationalizes its industries, 
enters more desperately than ever into the struggle 
for international markets, and takes the world lead 
in preparing war as a way out of the crisis. The 
"new capitalism" has not cured the contradictions 
of capitalism, but has enormously sharpened them. 

Trusts and Cartels 

IN HIS work, Imperialism, (p. 12), Lenin says, 
"Half a century ago when Marx wrote Capital 
free competition was considered by the majority 
of economists as one of Nature's laws." But the 


development of imperialism and the intensification 
of competition on every front has ended such no- 
tions. Now capitalism everywhere strives to 
eliminate competition and to establish monopoly. 
Thus the maze of trusts and cartels on a local, 
national and international scale. The aims of 
these monopolistic organizations is to screw up 
prices, to cut labor costs, to control markets, etc. 
One of their major objectives is to restrict pro- 
duction, to cramp the expansive productive forces 
within the confines of the narrow markets. To 
this end every reactionary practice has been used, 
from suppression of important inventions to whole- 
sale destruction of commodities and means of 
production. This is typical of the anti-social, 
parasitic character of decadent monopolistic capi- 
talism, to attempt to limit production for the 
benefit of a few idle owners in a world where the 
overwhelming majority of the people are lacking 
the necessities of life. In Solidarity, (Nov., 
1931), P. Boyden gives a number of examples of 
such commodity destruction, from which the fol- 
lowing items are culled: 

"A few months ago, in Oakland, Cal., 100,000 gallons 
of milk were dumped into the river. At about the same 
time, 40,000 salmon were destroyed in Ketchikan Bay, 
Alaska. In Los Angeles 120 carloads of cabbages were 
plowed under in the fields. Not long ago in California 
a Rotary Club played baseball with 60,000 eggs that 
were destroyed to keep them out of the market. And it 


is the same in other parts of the world ; in Brazil 2,000,000 
sacks of coffee were thrown into the sea, in Australia vast 
herds of sheep are simply massacred to keep the price of 
lamb high. Corn is poisoned so that it will be unfit for 
human consumption." * 

But trusts and cartels have not proved a cure 
for the economic crisis, any more than has the 
American "new capitalism." This is true, both 
for capitalism as a whole and for the respective 
industries. Instead of "stabilizing" industry, as 
their proponents say, these organizations are, on 
the contrary, feeding the crisis with their policies 
of rationalization of industry, mass lay-offs, wage- 
cuts and intensified exploitation of the workers. 
Even their very resistance to price declines pro- 
longs and intensifies the crisis. As Stalin said in 
a recent speech, "The capitalists are chopping off 
the branch that supports them. Instead of escap- 
ing the crisis, they are aggravating it, piling up 
new causes for a still more severe crisis." 

Consider the plight of the United States, home 
of the trusts. Here 24 banks hold assets worth 
more than those of 20,000 small banks; four great 
financial interests control 95 % of the total output 
of electrical power; the entire railroad system is 
dominated by a half dozen New York banks. Yet 
the whole industrial-financial machine is prostrate 
in deepest crisis. Nor have the individual trusti- 

i Press dispatches announce that the Brazilian government has 
decided to burn 12,000,000 sacks of coffee and to cut down 400,- 
000,000 coffee trees in the State of Sao Paulo. 


fied industries been able to shield themselves. The 
great automobile industry, erstwhile boast of 
American industrialists, in which three of each 
four cars are constructed by either Ford or Gen- 
eral Motors, is working, as I write these lines, at 
only 20% of capacity. Or take steel, with two 
big corporations controlling 52% of the industry, 
operating at only 20%. The oil industry, home 
of great combinations, is likewise a picture of an- 
archy, over-production and paralysis. The other 
industries, whether trustified or not coal, tex- 
tiles, chemicals, etc. are in a similar pickle. Also 
the railroads, government-regulated and most 
highly-monopolized of all American industries, ex- 
perience the general economic crisis, with two- 
thirds of their workers either totally unemployed 
or working only part-time and with bankruptcy 
knocking at the doors of many companies. 

It is exactly in the most trustified countries 
the United States, Germany, Great Britain, 
Japan that the crisis bears down most heavily. 

The trusts do not escape the laws of capitalist 
society. They cannot get away from competition. 
They compete against the untrustified sections of 
their own industries; against other industries (coal 
against oil and waterpower, railroads against auto- 
trucks, etc.) and against the industries of other 
countries. Besides, their whole position is under- 
mined by the crisis in backward, hopelessly com- 
petitive agriculture. But more important than all 


this is the fact that the whole trend of the trusts is 
to increase the exploitation of the workers and poor 
farmers and thus to render these masses still less 
able to buy back what they produce. The trusts 
unavoidably widen the fatal gap between capitalist 
production and distribution, the basic cause of the 

The cartel movement has had no better success 
than the trusts in checking the economic crisis, 
either in general or in individual industries. The 
cartels have the same major objectives as the 
trusts, to curtail production, boost prices, etc., but 
their inner organization is more frail, even when 
headed by "dictators" like Will Hayes and Dud- 
ley Field Malone. In the present crisis the 
cartels, so hopefully welcomed by capitalism gen- 
erally, are breaking under the strain. It is no con- 
tradiction for the capitalists of the various countries 
to drastically rationalize their industries so that 
they can the more effectively compete with each 
other, and at the same time set up international 
cartels presumably for the purpose of limiting 
competition and production. This is because these 
international cartels, in reality, are only new battle- 
grounds for the competitors ; the fight for markets 
goes on inside their limits, with the stronger groups 
pushing the weaker ones to the wall, forcing them 
to accept smaller production quotas, poorer mar- 
kets, etc. 

This is clearly reflected in the experience of the 


famous European Steel and Iron Agreement, 
signed in 1926. This organization faced not only 
ruinous competition from without, from the steel 
barons of Great Britain, Poland, etc., but also from 
within. The New York Times, (Sept. 9, 1931), 
says that the members of the cartel "engaged in 
a free-for-all scramble for orders, cartel regula- 
tions and prices being entirely disregarded." It 
is not surprising therefore that this great cartel has 
collapsed. Chadbourne's international sugar car- 
tel is fast going the same road because of the same 
disease. The New York Times, (Mar. 19, 1932), 
states that the Chadbourne plan is now "practically 
abandoned" because of incurable dissensions among 
the sugar producers. 

Mr. Chadbourne attaches very great impor- 
tance to his cartel. He has declared that in this 
attempt to limit the world production of sugar 
and to boost prices "the capitalist system itself is 
on trial." If so, then capitalism will surely be 
found guilty and sentenced to death, for the cartel 
movement cannot overcome the over-production 
that causes the capitalist crisis. On the contrary, 
as I. Lippincott says, the cartel "is a great stimu- 
lant to further production, and it thus aggravates 
the problem which it is designed to solve." 2 Sum- 
marizing the experiences of the cartel movement, 
a dispatch to the Scripps-Howard papers (Mar. 3, 
1931) says: "European cartels in steel, rayon, 

2 Economic Resources and Industries of the World, p. 55. 


cement, aluminum and coal, and international 
agreements in nitrates, sugar and coffee were 
studied by the U. S. Government trade experts 
in their examination of world price-fixing arrange- 
ments. In no case was the objective of the cartel 
attained in full and, in several instances, the entire 
project was abandoned." 

Viewing the general capitalist economic collapse 
and the failure of all trust and cartel remedies to 
cure it, The Course and Phases of the World Eco- 
nomic Depression, a League of Nations publica- 
tion, is forced to this lugubrious conclusion: 

"When we consider the magnitude of the losses from 
which the world suffers during a period of economic 
stagnation similar to that through which the world is 
now passing it is impossible not to be impressed by the 
almost absolute failure of society up to the present to 
devise any means by which such disasters may be averted." 

The Movement for Capitalist Planned Economy 

ALARMED on the one hand at the breakdown of the 
chaotic capitalistic economy in the crisis and on 
the other at the forging ahead of the Soviet Union 
with its planned Socialist economy, defenders of 
capitalism, especially in the United States, are rais- 
ing a great clamor for a planned capitalist econ- 
omy. "Give us a plan," they cry in every key and 
in manifest confusion. Many of them frankly 
state that it is a case of either a planned capitalist 


economy or Communism. Prof. W. B. Donham 
says in the New York Times of Mar. 15, 1931, 
"Unless greater stability is achieved, it is doubtful 
whether capitalist civilization can long endure." 
The frightened Nicholas Murray Butler declares 
in the New York Times of July 12, 1931 . . . 
"the world today is in the grasp of the greatest 
economic, financial, social and political series of 
problems which have ever faced it in history. . . 
The period through which we are passing is a period 
like the fall of the Roman Empire, like the Re- 
naissance, like the beginning of the political and 
social revolution in England and France ; it is dif- 
ferent from them all, is more powerful than them 
all and holds the world more in its grasp than any 
of them." Mr. Butler then cries out somewhat hys- 
terically for "an international plan designed to show 
that capitalism is a superior system to Communism." 
Such clamor has resulted in a whole series of 
"plans" being devised to stabilize the anarchistic 
capitalist economy. The country is infested with 
a plague of 5- and 10-year plans, and the deepening 
crisis will bring more. Among them are the proj- 
ects of Swope (General Electric), U. S. Cham- 
ber of Commerce, Associated General Contractors 
of America, Civic Federation, A. F. of L., La- 
Follette, Stuart Chase, Norman Thomas, The 
Forum,, Beard, Donham, etc., etc. These schemes 
range from mere statistics-gathering and advice- 


giving to drastic general reorganizations of in- 

What these "plans" usually have in common is 
a demand for more active participation of the gov- 
ernment in the trustification and control of indus- 
try. Capitalist "planning" is a step still further 
into State capitalism. The capitalist government, 
as the instrument of the ruling class, always has 
as its main function the furtherance of capitalist 
industry and the increase of profits at the expense 
of the workers, and it more and more directly in- 
tervenes in industry, hut never was this interven- 
tion so direct and far-reaching as the capitalist 
"planners" now propose. The movement for capi- 
talist "planning" is an effort to hasten the process 
of monopolization with still more vigorous aid of 
the government. It also tends in the general di- 
rection of Fascism. 

It is characteristic that the Social Fascist and 
Fascist leaders of the Socialist party and A.F. 
of L., together with many liberals, are advocates 
of capitalist "planning." They try to prove that 
the revolution is not necessary for an ordered 
economy and prosperity for the workers. As 
agents of finance capitalism, these elements always 
manage to find "progress" in every new step that 
the capitalists find necessary for the exploitation 
of the workers. The A.F. of L. leaders' demand 
now for "planning" and the abrogation of the anti- 
trust laws is just as much in the service of the 


employers as their support of the tariff, the ration- 
alization of industry, the present wage-cut drive, 

But these capitalistic economic "plans" must and 
do fail. They are wrecked on the same reefs as 
the trusts and cartels : viz., the inability of capital- 
ism, whether "planned" or not, to sell its commodi- 
ties in a market that lacks the wherewithal to buy 
them; and the hopelessly competitive character of 
the capitalist system. Capitalism "cannot eat its 
cake and have it." "Planned" capitalist economy 
cannot bridge over the basic economic and political 
contradictions of capitalism. It is as fruitless as 
capitalist "efforts" to end war. 

In fact, capitalist economic "plans" are not 
plans at all, in the sense of a fundamental control 
of the whole resources and production of society, as 
the Russians practice it. At most they are only 
a crude sort of government regulation. Private 
ownership of industry, exploitation of the work- 
ers, production for profit, competitive scramble 
for markets all foundation stones of capitalist 
economy make totally impossible the orderly 
balance between production and exchange and the 
thorough mobilization of all economic forces, either 
by agreement or compulsion, that is fundamentally 
necessary for real social planning. In such 
"plans" as that of Charles A. Beard in, America 
Faces the Future, which is an example of modern 
industrial utopianism, such basic objections to capi- 


talist "planning" as profit-making and competition 
are glossed over with a glib phrase or two and the 
whole problem is considered merely as a technical 
one, instead of primarily as one of class struggle. 

By going in for "planned" production, capital- 
ism would steal a leaf from the Soviet book, despite 
the frenzied denials of Matthew Woll. Stuart 
Chase says: "The American problem is to 'plan' 
without revolution." But this will not work; it is 
a case of the whole Soviet book or nothing. 
Planned economy and capitalism are mutually ex- 
clusive. Rubenstein correctly declares: "A plan 
is in contradiction to the very structure of capital- 
ism." 3 As Milyutin says : "Planned economy pre- 
supposes the dictatorship of the proletariat, the 
abolition of private property in the means of pro- 
duction, the socialization of the means of produc- 
tion in other words : the victory of Socialism." 
Only when the industries are socialized, when ex- 
ploitation has ceased, when production and the 
markets, freed of the profit motive, automatically 
balance each other that is, under Socialism is 
a genuine planned economy possible. The central 
principle of Socialist planning cannot be grafted 
onto the alien capitalist system. Socialism in the 
Soviet Union works with a plan, because its whole 
nature calls for planfulness and system. Capital- 
ism has never developed a plan in any country, 

s Science at the Crossroads, p. 21. 

* International Press Correspondence, Nov. 5, 1931. 


because it is in its very substance planless, com- 
petitive, chaotic. 

All the capitalist "planners" enthusiastically cite 
the experience of the War Industries Board as a 
glowing example of the success of their principle. 
But they overlook one fundamental fact which 
wrecks all their calculations. This is that during 
the war period the question of finding a market for 
the products of industry presented no problem. 
Capitalism's task now is not to improve produc- 
tion, which was all the War Industries Board did, 
but to find markets for its commodities. The 
movement now for capitalist "planning" will come 
to a no better end than the even more enthusiastic 
movement for the famous slogan, "Mass produc- 
tion and high wages," in the "new capitalism" era. 

But the capitalist "planners" have also passed 
from the word to the deed. Only calamitous fail- 
ure has been the result. In the United States 
capitalist "planning' has proved no more effective 
in checking the crisis than have the Economic 
Councils of Germany and France. We have 
already remarked the sad fate of Hoover's 
"planned" building boom and his "planned" main- 
tenance of high wages, but the most outstanding 
examples of Hoover's "planning" are the adven- 
tures of the Federal Farm Board in wheat and 
cotton. These are comparable only to the exploits 
of Jack, the giant-killer, or Sindbad, the sailor. 

With wheat and cotton in deep crisis from 


over-production, the Hoover government set out 
blithely to "stabilize" these great crops, of course, 
in the interests of the capitalist elements in agricul- 
ture. The government's confidence was equalled 
only by its arrogance and stupidity. It set up the 
Federal Farm Board and gave it $500,000,000 
with which to begin its great work of capitalist 
"planning" by cutting production, regulating sales 
and boosting prices. 

Let us first see what happened to wheat: the 
Farm Board bought some 330,000,000 bushels of 
wheat and carried on a wide propaganda for re- 
duced acreage, backed up by refusals of the banks 
to make loans to small farmers. The general re- 
sult was that the price of wheat dropped about 40 
cents a bushel, production was 35,000,000 bushels 
more in 1931 than in 1930, the unmarketable sur- 
plus of wheat is larger than ever and the Farm 
Board has thrown away vast sums of money. 
Quoting Stone, the head of the Farm Board, the 
New York Times, (Nov., 1931), says, "The Farm 
Board's holdings of wheat on Oct. 31, totalling 
189,656,187 bushels, represented an investment of 
$1.17 a bushel . . . about $222,000,000. It was 
worth on Oct. 31 about (57 cts. a bushel, WZF) 
$120,000,000 or $102,000,000 less than cost." 

Capitalist "planning," Hoover brand, made a no 
less brilliant showing in cotton. Again, as in the 
case of wheat, the market price of cotton has fallen 
about 60%, many millions of dollars have been 


squandered, and production, despite the Farm 
Board's notorious slogan, "Plow under each third 
row of cotton," has been increased 700,000 bales 
over last year. Says the New York Times, fur- 
ther quoting the "planner," Mr. Stone : "In cotton 
the Farm Board on Oct. 31, held 1,310,789 bales, 
representing on the same basis as wheat, an in- 
vestment of 18 cents a pound, or about $120,000,- 
000. The value of the cotton at quotations on 
Oct. 31, was about (6 cents a pound, WZF) $45,- 
000,000, or a loss of $75,000,000." 

These official figures of the Farm Board show 
a loss to the government of $177,000,000. But 
this by no means covers all; it accounts only for 
the devaluation of the stocks now on hand. There 
should be added another $100,000,000 or so on ac- 
count of the vast quantities of wheat and cotton 
sold for less than the purchase price. Besides, 
there are the many hundreds of millions lost by the 
farmers themselves. 

Thus operates capitalist "planning" even under 
powerful American imperialism. The wheat and 
cotton farmers have been impoverished to the point 
of pauperization; the crisis of over-production has 
been intensified; hundreds of millions of dollars 
have been handed over to the bankers and specu- 
lators in wheat and cotton. And meanwhile, as 
the storehouses are bursting with the unsaleable 
wheat and cotton, millions of unemployed workers 
and their families clamor in vain for bread and 


clothes. All this is a clear example of the suicide 
economics of capitalism, of the forces that impel 
the workers and poor farmers towards the estab- 
lishment of a Soviet United States. 

The Question of an Organized Capitalism 

THE DEVELOPMENT of the movement for capitalist 
"planning" raises afresh the question of whether 
or not an organized capitalist system is possible, 
for proposals of a "planned" capitalist economy 
are proposals of an "organized capitalism." Here 
the Social Fascists come forward in full panoply. 
They are the special champions of the theory of 
organized capitalism, although the present crisis 
has given them a sad jolt. Hilferding, (Arbeiter 
Zeitung, Vienna, Jan. 1, 1930), says: "The year 
of 1928 was a year of powerful development of 
organized capitalism. A new capitalist era com- 
menced in 1929. Modern capitalism is overcom- 
ing and removing everything which made for the 
anarchy of capitalist production." 

The theory of organized capitalism is found best 
developed in Hilf erding's and Kautsky's conception 
of super-imperialism, and it is a foundation premise 
of Social Fascism in general. Kautsky and other 
Social Fascist theoreticians hold that the process 
of capitalist trustification is overcoming and will 
continue to overcome the contradictions of capital- 
ism. That is, eventually trustification will become 


world-wide, thus at once liquidating the economic 
crisis, abolishing the class struggle, and dissolving 
the war conflicts between the rival imperialist na- 
tions into an organized and monopolized world 
system of production and distribution. Mean- 
while, as this develops, capitalism will at the same 
time, by a process of purchase by the ever-more 
democratic State, be gradually turned into a system 
of Socialism. This is the theory of the peaceful 
evolution of capitalism into Socialism. 

But this whole theory of organized capitalism 
goes contrary to the most basic development of 
capitalism. The capitalist system cannot be "or- 
ganized"; it is fundamentally competitive and 
chaotic. An ordered, balanced social system is 
incompatible with the private ownership of the 
industries and land and with production for profit. 
Monopolization, instead of diminishing the contra- 
dictions of the capitalist system, is increasing and 
deepening them. While trustification undoubt- 
edly brings a modicum of regulation and system 
within the confines of its direct organization, it at 
the same time, aggravates the conflicts within capi- 
talism as a whole. With the development of mo- 
nopolization, in this period of imperialism, of the 
decline of capitalism and of the rise of Socialism, 
the collisions increase in severity between trusts 
and untrustified industry, between the trusts them- 
selves, between industries as such, between the vari- 
ous imperialist nations, between the producers and 


the exploiters, and between the decaying capitalist 
system and the advancing Soviet Union. This 
process of growing conflict and struggle is thus 
stated in the Program of the Communist Inter- 

"The development of capitalism, and particularly the 
imperialist epoch of its development, reproduces the 
fundamental contradictions of capitalism upon an in- 
creasingly magnified scale. Competition among small 
capitalists ceases, only to make way for competition be- 
tween big capitalists ; where competition between big capi- 
talists subsides, it flares up between gigantic combinations 
of capitalist magnates and their governments; local and 
national crises become transformed into world crises af- 
fecting a number of countries and, subsequently, into 
world crises ; local wars give way to wars between coali- 
tions of states and world wars ; the class struggle changes 
from isolated actions of single groups of workers into 
nation-wide conflicts and subsequently, into an inter- 
national struggle of the world proletariat against the 
world bourgeoisie. Finally, two main forces are or- 
ganizing against the organized might of finance capital 
on the one hand the workers in the capitalist states, 
on the other hand, the victims of oppression of foreign 
capital, the masses of the people in the colonies, marching 
under the leadership and hegemony of the international 
revolutionary movement." 

The decisive trend in capitalism is towards the 
sharpening of its contradictions. Nor will this be 
overcome by the process of trustification. As the 
tendency develops to "organize," that is, to trustify 
sections of capitalist economy, this tendency is out- 


run by the counter-tendency to sharpen and deepen 
the antagonisms within the capitalist system and 
between it and the new Socialist system of the 
Soviet Union. In short, the very process of capi- 
talist monopolization speeds capitalist society ever 
faster along the road to imperialist war and pro- 
letarian revolution. Lenin thus analyses capital- 
ist development: 

"There is no doubt that the development is going in 
the direction of a single world trust that will swallow 
up all enterprises and all States without exception. But 
the development in this direction is proceeding under 
such stress, with such a tempo, with such contradictions, 
conflicts, and convulsions not only economical, but also 
political, national, etc., etc. that before a single world 
trust will be reached, before the respective national 
finance capitalist will have formed a world union of 
'ultra-imperialism,* imperialism will inevitably explode, 
capitalism will turn into its opposite." 

(b) Futile Efforts to Quench the Class Struggle 

THE MAJOR social contradiction of the capitalist 
system is the conflict in interest between the own- 
ing capitalist class and the producing working 
class. This gives rise to class struggle, the capi- 
talists always seeking to more intensely exploit the 
workers, and the workers struggling to retain the 
products of their labor. The class struggle, as we 
have already seen, becomes ever sharper with the 

6 Preface to Bukharin's Imperialism and World Economy, p. 14. 


intensification of the general crisis of capitalism, 
and it eventually culminates in the proletarian 

Necessarily, the capitalist class has always had 
as a fundamental objective the liquidation or soft- 
ening of this revolutionary contradiction. But the 
facts demonstrate that it is proving no more suc- 
cessful in accomplishing this than it is in its ef- 
forts to wipe out the basic economic contradiction 
of capitalism, the conflict between the capitalist 
modes of production and distribution. In spite of 
all the efforts of the capitalists to quench the class 
struggle, by damping down or beating out the 
workers' opposition, it flares up ever broader, more 
vigorously and more menacing to capitalism. 

Throughout the capitalist world the trend of the 
exploiters is towards Fascism; that is, to push 
through their offensive against the working class 
by policies of extreme demagogy and violence. 
The speed of the development of Fascism and the 
forms that it takes in the various countries depend 
upon the extent to which the capitalist crisis has 
progressed. Fascism develops along two main 
channels; that is, open Fascism and Social Fas- 

In Italy and some of the Balkan countries, 
where the revolutionary crisis early became acute, 
Fascism came into power by the violent seizure of 
the State power, followed by the wholesale smash- 
ing of workers' unions, cooperatives, political 


parties, the complete liquidation of bourgeois de- 
mocracy, the setting up of government trade 
unions, etc. In other countries the capitalists, ap- 
proaching the crisis at a somewhat slower pace, 
follow, at least at the outset, the "dry road" or 
"legal" way to Fascism. By this process of fas- 
ciszation the Bruening government in Germany is 
gradually developing the Fascist dictatorship; the 
MacDonald government in Great Britain is going 
in the same direction; Japan is openly menaced by 
Fascism; and in the United States many Fascist 
tendencies are in evidence, as exampled by the dic- 
tatorial methods of Hoover in the question of un- 
employment relief, etc.; by the decline in prestige 
of parliamentary government and the demand for 
a "strong man" dictator; by the demand of the 
American Legion convention for a "peace-time 
National Council of Defense"; by the appearance 
of many Fascist "planning" schemes (Swope, 
Woll, etc.), and by the wave of unpunished lynch- 
ings, wholesale arrest and deportation of militant 
workers, etc. One of the most basic features of 
this trend of world capitalism towards Fascism is 
the gradual fasciszation of the conservative trade 
unions and Socialist parties. 

From Social Reformism to Social Fascism 

IT HAS always been a policy of the capitalist class, 
especially in the imperialist countries, to split and 


weaken the working class by making certain con- 
cessions to the skilled workers. This provided the 
base of Social Reformism. The Socialist parties 
of the world and such trade unions as the Ameri- 
can Federation of Labor fitted themselves into this 
bosses' strategy, seeking to develop the skilled 
workers as a privileged aristocracy of labor. They 
based their organization, economic and political, 
upon the skilled workers, ignoring or openly be- 
traying the unskilled workers, as a thousand 
sold-out strikes testify. They cultivated illusions 
among the skilled workers that their interests lie 
in collaboration with the bourgeoisie rather than 
in class struggle of the workers. Social Reform- 
ism was and is a tool of the capitalist class in its 
struggle against the working class. The Social 
Reformists are in reality, as Lenin called them, 
"agents of the bourgeoisie in the ranks of the 

The hey-day of Social Reformism was during 
the early, "peaceful" stage of capitalist develop- 
ment and in the first phase of imperialism. This 
general period may be said to have closed with the 
beginning of the World War. In this period, 
with the world capitalist system generally on the 
upgrade, the capitalists, especially in United 
States, England and Germany, could and did 
make many concessions to the skilled workers. 
Few of these, however, seeped down to the un- 
skilled and semi-skilled, who remained in a state 


of poverty. Upon this economic foundation So- 
cial Reformism built for itself a strong mass fol- 
lowing among the workers. 

But the development of the general crisis of 
capitalism has changed the complexion though not 
the basic role of the Social Reformistic "lieuten- 
ants of capital." The employers, trying to find a 
way out of their difficulties and to preserve their 
profits at the expense of the workers, intensify 
their wage-cut drive, reduction of unemployment 
benefits, etc.; not even the skilled workers, al- 
though they are partly shielded, escaping the rapid 
downward trend. The old system of concessions 
to the skilled workers, the basis of Social Reform- 
ism, becomes increasingly narrowed down and is 
succeeded by more direct and rigorous methods of 

Adapting themselves to the needs of the em- 
ployers, the reformist Socialist and trade union 
leaders have developed their movement into an 
organ of the bosses for the Fascist repression 
and intensified exploitation of the working class. 
They have practically grafted the Social Democ- 
racy and the conservative unions onto the capitalist 
State and the employers' exploitation machinery. 
They devote to capitalism their long-established 
prestige as workers' leaders, their strong organi- 
zational control over the masses, and their unques- 
tioned demagogic skill in covering up their services 
to capitalism with pleas that it is all necessary in 


the building of Socialism. Where necessary they 
do not hesitate to use open violence against the 
revolutionary toilers. The policy of the Social 
Democracy is basically that of Fascism; the beat- 
ing back of the proletarian revolution, the saving 
of capitalism and the profits of the employers at 
the expense of the workers. The principal differ- 
ence is that Social Democracy hides its Fascism 
under a mask of Marxian Socialism. Thus, in the 
period of the decline of capitalism, Social Reform- 
ism becomes Social Fascism. 

The Fasciszation of the American Federation of 


IN THE A.F. of L. the process of fasciszation is 
far advanced. In fact, the top leadership of this 
organization, the Greens, Wolls, Lewises, etc., are 
already practically open-Fascist. They are brazen 
defenders of capitalism. They have become the 
chief strike-breaking agency of the employers. 
To this end they work hand-in-glove with the 
Hoover government, the American Legion, the Ku 
Klux Klan, the National Civic Federation, the 
Chambers of Commerce, the churches, and all and 
sundry other institutions of the employers for the 
exploitation of the workers. Their policy is to 
make the trade unions more company-union-like 
than the company unions themselves. Politically 
illiterate and with the sycophancy typical of para- 


sites, these leaders take their "opinions" ready- 
made from the most reactionary sections of the 
bourgeoisie. They greedily lap up every mess of 
capitalist economics and politics that their masters 
set before them. Developing Fascism in the United 
States has a main foundation in the leadership of 
the American Federation of Labor. Their sys- 
tem of craft unionism, maintained as against in- 
dustrial unionism to prevent unity of action by the 
workers and to furnish additional jobs to officials, 
is a shameless method of union scabbery. Their 
endorsement of election candidates of the capital- 
ist parties, or "reward-your-friends" policy, is a 
plain sell-out of the working class. Their support 
of the rationalization of industry is part of the 
speed-up program of the bosses. Their systematic 
betrayal of the Negroes, women and young work- 
ers dovetails into the employers' special exploita- 
tion of these sections of the workers. Their long 
years of peddling the interests of the unskilled 
workers and their breaking up of attempts of these 
workers to organize constitutes the greatest of all 
their crimes against the working class. They are 
saturated with graft racketeering was born in 
the A.F. of L. With their huge salaries, ranging 
from $10,000 to $20,000 yearly or as much as those 
of United States governors, senators, etc., they 
have nothing in common with the workers in their 
way of living and thinking. So faithful a servant 
of capitalism is the A.F. of L. leadership that, if 


one wants to know its policy in any field of politics 
or economics, all that is necessary is to find out the 
policy of the bosses and you have the answer. 

The present tasks of the A.F. of L. leadership, 
dictated by the employers, are to defeat the de- 
mand of the workers for unemployment insurance 
and relief, to push through the employers' wage- 
cutting campaign, to advance the preparations for 
imperialist war, to beat back the advance of the 
Trade Union Unity League and the revolutionary 
minorities in the reformist unions. 

In the question of unemployment the A.F. of L. 
leadership sinks to the greatest depths of cynical 
betrayal of the workers. The Vancouver, 1931, 
convention of the A.F. of L., re-affirming the ex- 
isting policy, said: "Compulsory unemployment 
insurance legislation such as is now in effect in 
Great Britain and Germany would be unsuited to 
our economic and political requirements and are 
unsatisfactory to American workmen." When 
Green, Woll and Co. say this they speak for their 
capitalist masters, not for the workers. The A.F. 
of L. convention which could adopt such a decision 
was made up of 90% high-paid officials; the work- 
ers had no voice or representation. The A.F. of 
L. membership, who favor unemployment insur- 
ance, have never in any way been consulted or 
given an opportunity to express their opinion on 
the question. The A.F. of L. leadership, either 
openly or by their silence, have endorsed every 


attack of the police upon unemployed demon- 
strations. The millions of unemployed workers, 
destitute of unemployment insurance and in a con- 
dition of semi-starvation, have the A.F. of L. very 
much to thank for their present plight. It may 
be that under the growing mass pressure many 
A.F. of L. leaders will be forced to tip their hat 
to "unemployment insurance" of the Groves Law 
type, (half a dozen governors having endorsed it), 
but this demagogy will not change their real op- 
position. The A.F. of L. leaders are a central pillar 
of the Hoover program of starving the unem- 

The A.F. of L. leaders are also a principal in- 
strument of the bosses for cutting the workers' 
wages. During the past two years, despite the 
Hoover-Green no-wage-cut agreement, the wages 
of the workers in practically every industry have 
been slashed and the A.F. of L. has not waged a 
single major strike against this offensive. Where 
the militancy of the workers has forced strikes, 
(Ohio miners, needle trades, etc.), these have been 
betrayed into means for accomplishing wage-cuts. 
Agreeing with the bosses that the standards of 
the workers must come down, the A.F. of L. leaders 
have adopted a policy of "voluntary" wage-cuts. 
They are accepting cuts off-hand in the building, 
textile, printing, clothing and other industries all 
over the country, and glorying in them as victories. 
Matthew Woll called the recent "voluntary" 


cut of the railroad workers, which was a most 
shameful sell-out, "an achievement such as we 
have never before witnessed in the United States." 
In their wage-cutting program the A.F. of L. 
leaders do not hesitate to cut the wages of organ- 
ized workers even below those of the unorganized. 
In the Colorado mines of the Rocky Mountain 
Fuel Co. the U.M.W. of A. leaders "voluntarily" 
gave up 50% of the workers' pay in order to enable 
that company to out-compete its competitors. In 
West Virginia, the U.M.W. of A. leader Van 
Bittner declared that he would "out scab the 
scabs," and signed an agreement with the Purs- 
glove Company, cutting the already starvation 
wages of its 1600 workers from 30 to 22 cents 
per ton, thereby reducing them far below the 
unorganized miners of the vicinity. The Ameri- 
can Federation of Full Fashioned Hosiery Work- 
ers, (U.T.W.), in the Fall of 1931, accepted a 
cut of 35% to 45%, shamelessly announcing that 
its purpose was to undercut the production costs 
of the non-union mills and to drive them out of 
business. In all this wage-cutting campaign no 
unions have been more active than the Socialist- 
controlled needle trades organizations. 

Not only does the A.F. of L. take the initiative 
in forcing through wage-cuts, but it also actively 
breaks the resistance of the workers, the unorgan- 
ized or those united in the Trade Union Unity 
League, when they strike against reductions of 


their standards, examples of this being the recent 
strikes in Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Law- 
rence, Paterson, New York, etc. It used to be 
that when the employers broke strikes of their 
workers they called in such professional scab- 
herders as Farley, Pinkerton, the Feltz-Baldwins, 
etc., but now they use the Greens, Lewises, Doaks, 
Schlessingers, Hillmans, etc. 

Notoriously, the A.F. of L. leaders are milita- 
ristic jingoes, and support every phase of the im- 
perialists' war program. They are rabid enemies 
of the Soviet Union. The A.F. of L. convention 
poisonously declared: "We regard the Soviet re- 
gime in Russia as the most unscrupulous, most anti- 
social institution in the world today. Between it 
and our form of political and social organization, 
there can be no compromise of any kind." Their 
hatred of the U.S.S.R. is a class hatred, as is that of 
the employers. They fear the revolution like all 
other exploiters of labor, usually more acutely than 
even the capitalists themselves. 

Naturally, to enforce in the unions the poli- 
cies of wage-cuts, starvation of the unemployed, 
speed-up, etc., more and more use has to be made 
of Fascist methods of control of these organiza- 
tions. Democracy, never vigorous in the A.F. of 
L. and railroad Brotherhoods, has now been prac- 
tically wiped out. The organizations are domi- 
nated from top to bottom by bureaucrats and 


gangsters; including the "Socialist" unions. The 
rank and file have little or nothing to say on vital 
questions of policy. Union elections are a farce, 
the ruling cliques stealing as many votes as they 
may require. Often they even refuse to put the 
opposition candidates on the ballot. Conventions 
are packed with administration henchmen. The 
union journals are closed to all serious discussion. 
And when the workers object to this growing Fas- 
cist regime they face gangsterism and expulsion 
from the organizations. 

The employers directly assist the reactionaries 
in controlling the unions. Rebellious workers in 
the unions are, upon the proposal of the union 
leaders, blacklisted from the industries. More 
than ever the check-off is used to hold the work- 
ers in the organizations by force (anthracite, 
needle trades, textiles, etc.). In Illinois, for ex- 
ample, the miners have led several revolts against 
the U.M.W.A. but are still compelled, by the 
check-off, to remain members. 

Fascism everywhere seeks to amalgamate the 
trade unions with the State, so that the workers 
may be the more effectively controlled, Musso- 
lini's "trade unions" being actual State organs. 
Gradually the A.F. of L. and railroad unions are 
becoming Statized, being already practically the 
official government unions. Their foreign policy 
dovetails completely with that of American im- 
perialism and obediently follows all the windings 


of the State Department. Significantly, Mr. 
Hoover, together with a flock of governors, sena- 
tors, mayors, generals, etc., went to the Boston, 
(1930), convention to tell the A.F. of L. leaders 
to fight against unemployment insurance. And 
during the 1931 coal strike of the National Min- 
ers Union in Western Pennsylvania, President 
Hoover, Secretary Doak, and Governors Pinchot 
and White actively interfered to break the strike, 
assisting and often calling upon the coal operators 
to rebuild the U.M.W.A. and arranging confer- 
ences to this effect. 

Between the police and the A.F. of L. bureau- 
crats there is a close working arrangement. At 
the top Matthew Woll and the Department of 
Justice cooperate in the issuance of their periodic 
joint "red scares"; at the bottom, the lesser officials 
turn the names of revolutionary workers over to 
the police. The Department of Labor, when 35 
members of Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers 
got out an injunction against their crooked offi- 
cials, sent its agents to terrorize these workers as 
"Reds," (New York World-Telegram, Apr. 1, 
1932) this being a direct support of A.F. of L. 
racketeer leaders by the Federal government. 
Nor do the courts fail in protecting the A.F. of 
L. officials against attacks by the workers. They 
issue injunctions against the TUUL unions on be- 
half of the A.F. of L. And in Southern Illinois, 
Gebert, Tash, Frankfeld, et al., were indicted for 


criminal syndicalism, being charged by the State 
with "maliciously, unlawfully and knowingly com- 
bining, federating," etc., "to injure the character 
of the United Mine Workers of America." 

The Fasciszation of the Socialist Party 

TRAVELING to Fascism, the Social Democrats, in- 
ternationally as well as in this country, are fulfill- 
ing every task assigned them by the employers. 
In summing up their intellectual fasciszation, the 
Program of the Communist International, says: 

"In the sphere of theory, Social Democracy has utterly 
and completely betrayed Marxism, having traversed the 
road from revision to complete liberal bourgeois reform- 
ism and avowed social-imperialism; it has substituted in 
place of the Marxian theory of the contradictions of 
capitalism, the bourgeois theory of its harmonious de- 
velopment ; it has pigeon-holed the theory of crises and 
of the pauperization of the proletariat; it has turned 
the flaming and menacing theory of class struggle into 
prosaic advocacy of class peace; it has exchanged the 
theory of growing class antagonisms for the petty bour- 
geois fairy tale about the 'democratization' of capital; 
in place of the theory of the inevitability of war under 
capitalism it has substituted the bourgeois deceit of 
pacifism and the lying propaganda of 'ultra-imperialism'; 
it has changed the theory of the revolutionary downfall 
of capitalism for the counterfeit coinage of 'sound' capi- 
talism transforming itself peacefully into Socialism; it 
has replaced revolution by evolution; the destruction of 
the bourgeois State by its active upbuilding, the theory 


of proletarian dictatorship by the theory of coalition 
with the bourgeoisie, the doctrine of international soli- 
darity by preaching defense of the imperialist father- 
land; for Marxian dialectical materialism it has sub- 
stituted the idealist philosophy and is now engaged in 
picking up the crumbs of religion that fall from the 
table of the bourgeoisie. '* 

The practice of the Socialist parties and trade 
unions conforms to this Fascist theoretical degen- 
eration. There have been no demands made upon 
them by capitalism in crisis which they have not 
obeyed. When the capitalists of the various coun- 
tries called upon them to organize the great World 
War they responded by identifying everywhere 
their interests with those of their national bour- 
geoisie and by mobilizing the workers for the 
slaughter. And ever since they have worked with 
their capitalist masters to help them prepare the 
next war. In Great Britain the MacDonald "So- 
cialist" government maintained intact the great 
war machine of British imperialism; in Germany 
the Social Fascists voted for the rebuilding of the 
German navy; in France they prepared the in- 
famous universal military service law now in force ; 
in Poland, Czecho- Slovakia and many other coun- 
tries they vote the war budgets. Everywhere they 
are the special decoy ducks of capitalist pacifism, 
the shield of imperialist war. 

In the war plans of the capitalist nations against 
the Soviet Union the Social Democrats play a lead- 


ing role. They scoff at the danger of capitalist 
war against the Soviet Union and thus disarm the 
workers' defense; they make the capitalist war ap- 
pear as a fight against autocracy in the U.S.S.R. 
The Social Fascists hate the Soviet Union because 
they see in it the living refutation of their whole 
policy, a menacing threat to the capitalist system 
of which they are the most profound theoretical 
and practical defenders. They have never hesi- 
tated, (in Georgia and elsewhere), to take up arms 
against the Soviet Union. The exposures in the 
recent political trials in Moscow showed that the 
Second International is working hand-in-glove 
with the French imperialists in preparing armed 
intervention against the U.S.S.R. As a recent 
resolution of the Communist International says: 
"The Social Democracy has turned itself into a 
shock-brigade of world imperialism which is pre- 
paring for war against the U.S.S.R." 

The special task of the Social Fascists is to dis- 
credit the Soviet Union among the workers. As 
we have seen, they are the most skilled in building 
up arguments against the Soviet Union, covering 
their sophistries with a cloak of pseudo-Marxism. 
They take up every capitalist anti- Soviet lie and 
assiduously propagate it among the workers. 
These they alternate with hypocritical pretensions 
of friendship, knowing that the masses are sympa- 
thetic to the U.S.S.R. A few quotations will show 


their malignant attacks upon the Russian revolu- 
tion and their true attitude towards it : 

"Russian Soviet imperialism, which has robbed a whole 
series of non-Russian peoples of their rights and prin- 
ciples, is striving to extend its rule still further and to 
cause trouble between other countries. This is the great- 
est danger of war.' 96 

"The Soviet Government has been the greatest disaster 
and calamity that has ever occurred to the Socialist 
movement. Let us dissociate ourselves from the Soviet 
government." 7 

"I agree in the main with Prof. Beard's vigorous state- 
ment: 'One thing, however, is certain; the Russian gov- 
ernment rules by tyranny and terror, with secret police, 
espionage and arbitrary executions.' ' 

In the great revolutionary upheavals following 
the World War the Social Fascists saved Euro- 
pean capitalism. In Italy they betrayed the revo- 
lution into the hands of Mussolini. In Germany, 
in their efforts to preserve the capitalist system, 
they shot down thousands of revolutionary work- 
ers. All this was done in the name of fighting 
for Socialism. The MacDonald "Socialist" gov- 
ernment simply displayed its true Social Fascist 
character by shooting and jailing thousands of 
revolutionary workers and peasants in India. The 
Social Fascists were the main force in the speed- 

6 Vorwearts, official organ of the German Social Democratic Party. 

7 Morris Hillquit, American Socialist leader, New Leader, Feb. 
4, 1928. 

8 Norman Thomas, As I See It, p. 93. 


up, rationalization movement, their real leader 
being Henry Ford, not Karl Marx. 

Now again, when capitalism is trying to find a 
way out of its deep crisis by reducing the standards 
of the workers, its main allies are the Social Fas- 
cists. The world Social Democracy is not better 
than a strike-breaking, wage-cutting, dole-slashing 
tool of the employers. In every capitalist country 
the Social Fascists are cooperating closely with the 
capitalists, accepting as their working principle 
that in the crisis the workers' living conditions must 
come down. In the United States J. P. Morgan 
speaks over the radio for the starvation, "block-aid" 
system, and so does Norman Thomas. In Great 
Britain, with the aid of the Labor government, the 
bosses have deeply cut the wages in every industry, 
besides making sharp reductions in the State unem- 
ployment insurance. In Germany the Bruening 
and other capitalist governments, all the while re- 
ceiving the active support of the Social Demo- 
cratic party, have cut the wages of the workers and 
the benefits of the jobless to starvation levels. 

The Socialist parties of the world are the third 
parties of capitalism. They do not fight for even 
the most elementary demands of the workers. 
They are a part of the capitalist machinery for 
taking the bread out of the mouths of the workers 
and their families, the principal barrier to the revo- 
lution. That is why in Great Britain, Germany 


and other countries the capitalists have supported 
Social Fascists to head their governments. In 
every case their record has been one of subservience 
to the program of the exploiters. In practice 
their policy of the gradual building of Socialism 
has resolved itself simply into a desperate effort 
to keep the breath of life in capitalism. Their so- 
called nationalization of industry is only a covert 
aid to capitalist trustification. In no country have 
they achieved the slightest progress towards So- 
cialism, or even made serious proposals looking in 
that direction. The Liberal English writer, Rat- 
cliffe, says in Current History, (Dec., 1931) : "The 
first nominally Socialist Prime Minister of Eng- 
land has at no time proposed a single Socialist 
measure." The same may be said with equal truth 
of every "Socialist" Prime Minister in every coun- 
try. Even Norman Thomas has to grudgingly 
admit that "the record of parliamentary govern- 
ments by Socialist parties in Europe is no record 
of thrilling achievement." Manuilsky states the 
case correctly when he calls the Social Democracy, 
"a party more reactionary and counter-revolution- 
ary than the bourgeois parties were in the past 
when capitalism was still on the upgrade." 

The Social Democracy not only increasingly ap- 
plies more Fascist methods itself against the work- 
ers, but it further serves its capitalist masters by 
preparing the ground for open Fascism. In Italy 

America's Way Out, p. 181. 


the betrayal of the great metal strike by the So- 
cialists opened the door to Mussolini. In Austria 
the Social Democracy disarms the workers before 
the advancing Fascism. In Great Britain, by 
their betrayal of the great general strike and by 
the debacle of the Labor government, the Social 
Fascists threw demoralization into the ranks of the 
workers and petty bourgeois sympathizers, giving 
direct encouragement to Fascism. In Germany 
the Social Fascist leaders are clearing the way 
for Fascism through their theory and practice of 
"the lesser evil/' With the argument that the 
starvation capitalist system is a "lesser evil" than 
the dictatorship of the proletariat they support the 
Bruening government, with its wholesale wage- 
cuts, suppression of the workers' rights and pro- 
gram of gradual fasciszation. Under the name of 
Socialism they call upon the workers to vote for 
the monarchist, von Hindenburg. In many places 
they join hands with the Hitlerites and police for 
armed attacks on the Communists. To the Social 
Fascists the major danger is the Communist revo- 
lution; to defeat this the end justifies the means. 
The "fight" between Social Fascism and Fas- 
cism is so much "sound and fury signifying 
nothing." The two movements are blood-brothers. 
Manuilsky says: "Fascism and Social Fascism are 
two aspects of one and the same bulwark of bour- 
geois dictatorship," and Stalin says: "Fascism is a 
militant organization of the bourgeoisie resting 


upon the active support of Social Democracy." 
Their quarrel is only a case of friction between two 
methods of repressing the workers, between two 
sets of capitalist agents fighting for the fleshpots 
of office and control. The Social Fascists would 
maintain the semblance of capitalist democracy as 
the best means of forestalling the revolution and 
they would be its administrators ; whereas the Fas- 
cists would sweep aside this fake democracy and 
its champions and proceed to more direct methods 
of repression. But an accommodation of these 
conflicting ideas and interests is being arrived at 
by the gradual fasciszation of the State and of the 
mass organizations of the Social Democrats. In 
due season the Social Fascist leaders, in the name 
of Socialism, will join with the Hitlerites in shoot- 
ing down the revolutionary workers. It is because 
of the essential unity of Fascism and Social Fas- 
cism that Hamilton Fish, one of the most conscious 
Fascists in this country, could enthusiastically en- 
dorse Norman Thomas for office in the 1931 
elections. 10 The Mussolinis, Pilsudskis, Briands, 
and MacDonalds are only fully-matured Social 

The record of the Socialist Party of the United 
States is altogether in line with that of its brother 
parties in Europe. It has undergone the same 
ideological degeneration in the direction of Fas- 
cism. It supported the imperialist program of 

10 New York Herald-Tribune, Nov. 2, 1931. 


MacDonald and the endorsement of the Bruening 
government. It advocated the whole capitalist 
rationalization of industry, and class collaboration, 
removing from its program all reference to the 
class struggle. Now, naturally, it comes forward 
for capitalist "planning." In Reading and Mil- 
waukee, Socialist strongholds and long notorious 
for their low wages and open-shop conditions, the 
same starvation program for the unemployed pre- 
vails, the same jailing of unemployed demonstra- 
tors as in Mayor Walker's New York. The 
Socialist party has cemented its alliance with the 
A.F. of L. leadership and carries out the same line 
of wage-cutting and strike-breaking against the 
revolutionary unions, but with more skillful strat- 
egy and demagogy. The Socialist-controlled New 
York needle trades unions, saturated with cor- 
ruption and gangsterism, are just as much at the 
service of the employers as any unions in the whole 
A.F. of L. Wherever it is to be found, the So- 
cialist party, under its false-face of working class 
phrases, is a maid-of-all-work for the capitalist 

The "'Left" Social Fascists 

THE DEEPENING of the crisis and the growing revo- 
lutionization of the masses is accompanied by a 
strong development of radical phrase-mongering 
on the part of many groups of open and covert de- 
fenders of capitalism. This demagogy is part of 


the capitalist offensive against the workers. Its 
aim is to delude the workers with promises of dras- 
tic relief, while at the same time holding them tied 
in practical policy to the basic capitalist program 
of exploitation. It is a means to prevent the 
masses from following the leadership of the Com- 

Of such demagogues the Fascists are outstanding 
examples. Before Mussolini seized power his 
program was extremely "radical," containing de- 
mands for a republic, suppression of all chambers 
of commerce and stock companies, confiscation of 
church properties, nationalization of the war in- 
dustries, etc., all of which he completely repudiated 
in practice. At the present time Hitler is trying 
to carry out the same Mussolini strategy, to de- 
ceive the German masses with pretenses of radi- 
calism as a screen for the naked capitalist 
dictatorship and exploitation he has in store for 
them. The new-found radicalism of the Roose- 
velts, Pinchots, LaFollettes, Murphys, Father 
Coxes, etc., is of essentially the same stripe in this 
country, so much empty demagogy to win a mass 
following of the discontented. 

The Social Fascists are still more dangerous mas- 
ters at this demagogic art. As we have seen they 
have, under pretense of fighting for Socialism, 
backed up every plan that capitalism has put for- 
ward for saving itself and more intensely exploiting 
the toilers. Under the fig-leaf of Socialism they 


supported the World War, the Versailles Treaty, 
the Dawes and Young Plans, the Kellogg Pact, 
the Chinese butcher, Chang Kai Shek, and the In- 
dian faker, Gandhi. Even as these lines are being 
written, they are working together with the Span- 
ish coalition government to shoot down the heroic 
revolt of the Spanish workers, (Daily Worker, 
Jan. 23, 1932). Nor are the Greens and Wolls 
anything lacking in demagogic ability, with their 
blather about the 5-hour day, their vague talk of 
"revolution if something is not done," etc. 

But the most insidious and dangerous to the 
workers of all this crop of demagogues are the so- 
called "left" Social Fascists. The substance of 
their activities is, while giving practical support to 
the right Social Fascists, to criticize them in the 
name of the revolution. They are the radical 
phrase-mongers par excellence. Their objective 
task is the confusion of the most advanced elements 
of the workers and therefore the breaking up of 
serious movements against the capitalists and their 
reactionary labor henchmen. Throughout the Sec- 
ond International there are such groupings, in- 
cluding the Maxtonites in Great Britain, the 
"left" Social Democrats in Germany, the various 
renegade Communist grouplets, etc. Trotzky 
belongs to this general category. The harm of 
such elements is typically illustrated by Trotzky's 
present denial of an immediate war danger between 


Japan and the U.S.S.R., while at the same time he 
poses as an ultra-revolutionist. 

During the post-war revolutionary upheavals in 
Germany and other countries such pseudo-left ele- 
ments sprang up, forming a separate world or- 
ganization, the so-called 2^ International. These 
"lefts," despite many radical phrases, always 
supported the right Social Democrats against the 
Communists, thereby doing much to break up the 
revolutionary attacks of the workers upon capi- 
talism. After the workers were defeated the 
"lefts" amalgamated with the Second Inter- 
national, of which, at all times, they were essen- 
tially a specialized part. Now, in this great crisis, 
they are attempting to come forth and repeat their 
treacherous role of 1918-23. 

In the United States the principal representa- 
tive of this insidious pseudo-revolutionary tendency 
is the Conference for Progressive Labor Action, or 
the so-called Muste group. This is made up of 
miscellaneous "progressive" petty trade union 
bureaucrats, remnants of the old Labor party 
movements, liberals and Brookwood intellectuals, 
dilettante churchmen, social workers, etc. Its 
chief political expression is the "left" Stanley 
group in the Socialist party and its principal activi- 
ties are on the trade union field. Such Socialists 
as Thomas and Maurer flirt with the movement. 
On the fringes of the Muste group are the rene- 
gade Communist groups of Lore, Lovestone, 


Cannon and Weisbord. They serve to give the 
whole tendency a more "red" tinge with their pre- 
tense at Communism; but their practice dovetails 
with the Muste group. The "left" Social Fascists 
are in reality specialized troops of the reactionary 
bureaucrats for struggle against the revolutionary 
sections of the working class. 

The line of the Muste group is typical of such 
tendencies the world over. While criticising the 
betrayals of the A.F. of L. leaders and the So- 
cialist party, they nevertheless give them practical 
support. They are bitter enemies of the Com- 
munist party and the Trade Union Unity League. 
They are special opponents of the policy of in- 
dependent revolutionary unions, seeking to draw 
the unorganized workers under the control of the 
American Federation of Labor. They are the 
loyal "opposition" within the A.F. of L. They 
talk of starting a more radical Socialist party as a 
rival to the Communist party. 

In its short life of about three years the Muste 
group has clearly shown the unity of its basic 
policy with that of the A.F. of L. How this 
"radical" group makes a division of labor with 
the A.F. of L. leaders is typically illustrated by the 
campaign of the A.F. of L. to "organize" the 
Southern textile workers recently. On the one 
hand, Mr. Green, accompanied by an efficiency en- 
gineer, Jeffrey Browne, proposed to "organize" the 
textile workers by offering to speed them still more 


and to kill off radicalism among them. Along this 
line he spoke to many Southern Chambers of Com- 
merce and employers' associations. "The policies 
he advocated," says the Memphis Commercial Ap- 
peal, "might have come with propriety from the 
President of the American Banking Association." 
On the other hand, the Muste group got into action 
to help Green control the workers within his reac- 
tionary scheme. Muste grew enthusiastic over the 
campaign, called upon the workers to give the 
A.F. of L. misleaders an organizing fund of $1,- 
000,000, sent his speakers to talk radical to the 
workers at the mill gates, and his organizers to 
play a shameful role in the final strike sell-outs. 
Thus this "progressive" wing of the A.F. of L. 
cooperated perfectly with the top bureaucracy to 
defeat the militant movement of the Southern 
workers and to keep them away from the revolu- 
tionary National Textile Workers Union. 

The recent Lawrence strike was another typical 
example of the Musteites as auxiliaries of the 
A.F. of L. leadership. With the A.F. of L. ac- 
cepting wage-cuts all over the country on principle, 
manifestly it could not afford to have these 23,000 
unorganized textile workers win their strike against 
the wage-cut. The A.F. of L. organizers went 
into Lawrence to bring about the acceptance of the 
cut, that is, to sell-out the strike. The Musteites 
helped them. They viciously attacked the revolu- 
tionary union and aided the reactionary A.F. of L. 


leadership to secure prestige among the masses by 
the Muste show of radicalism. In the 1931 Pater- 
son strike of silk workers there was a complete 
united front of capitalist politicians, A.F. of L., 
Socialist Party, Muste group, Lovestoneites, etc., 
against the National Textile Workers Union. 

Every "left" maneuver of the A.F. of L. bu- 
reaucrats to deceive the masses has the enthusiastic 
support of the Muste group and their renegade 
Communist allies. The putting over of the recent 
general wage-cut of the railroad workers provided 
a good example of Musteism in practice. From 
the outset of the negotiations between the com- 
panies and the union leaders it was evident that 
the latter intended to accept the cut after making 
a few maneuvers to create the impression among 
the rank and file that they were fighting the com- 
panies' proposition. Manifestly, the task of every 
militant was to expose this plot and to organize 
the workers against it. But no sooner did the 
latter begin their sham battle against the cut than 
Muste's paper, The Labor Age, Dec., 1931, 
declared: "The fact that the twenty-one railroad 
labor unions in this country have informed a com- 
mittee of railroad presidents that they will not 
accept a Voluntary' cut in wages of 10% is a 
hopeful sign. It may mean a turning point in 
American trade union history." This was plain 
aid and comfort to the enemy, deceiving the work- 


ers and making it easy for the leaders to betray 

The Bankruptcy of Social Fascism 

Now LET us see whether or not capitalism is de- 
veloping in Social Fascism a means with which it 
can quench the class struggle and beat down the 
surging proletarian revolution. Even a cursory 
glance shows that with the narrowing of the eco- 
nomic base of Social Fascism, caused by the in- 
ability of capitalism to so widely corrupt the labor 
aristocracy, goes a narrowing of its mass base 
among the working class. Social Fascism is bank- 
rupt in theory and practice and, despite (and be- 
cause of) the support it gets from the employers 
and the State, it is entering into a period of disin- 

By its daily role in the class struggle Social 
Fascism shows itself to be the road, not to Socialism 
but to the still deeper enslavement of the workers. 
The Social Democratic theory that the capitalist 
"democracy" would gradually evolve into a Social- 
ist government leads in hard reality to Socialist 
support of growing Fascist dictatorships all over 
the capitalist world; its conception of a steadily 
rising standard of living for the workers under an 
organized capitalism leads, in the decaying capi- 
talist system, to the acceptance of wholesale wage- 
cuts, starvation of the unemployed, preparations 
for war against the Soviet Union, etc. 


Inevitably the meaning of all this is seeping 
into the minds of the masses of workers who have 
hitherto followed the lead of the Social Democrats. 
Although they still have many stubborn illusions, 
they are learning that the Social Democracy is 
their enemy, and they are starting to turn against 
it. Hence, there is beginning a world-wide decline 
in the mass influence and organizational strength 
of the Social Democracy and a growth of the Com- 
munist movement. In Germany, where the capi- 
talist crisis is farthest advanced and the process 
of fasciszation of the Social Democracy most com- 
plete, the above trends are best illustrated. Thus, 
while the vote of the Social Democratic party 
steadily falls off, that of the Communist party, 
4,982,000 in the recent election, as rapidly increases. 

Nor is the United States an exception to this 
general tendency. Since the war the A.F. of L. 
has lost about 2,000,000 members. The United 
Mine Workers, once the backbone of the A.F. of 
L., has been reduced to one-fourth of its former 
membership and, because of its reactionary poli-< 
cies, it has become a stench in the nostrils of the 
miners. During the past two years the building 
trades unions have lost at least one-third of their 
members and other unions accordingly. Moreover, 
throughout the A.F. of L., there is brewing an 
explosive rank and file opposition to the reactionary 
policies of the leaders. Never was the prestige of 
the A.F. of L. so low among its members and the 


broad masses of workers. As against all this, there 
is the spreading mass influence of the Communist 
party and the Trade Union Unity League. 

The capitalists, naturally, do not passively ob- 
serve the disintegration of Social Fascism, but try 
to save it. Thus American employers are defi- 
nitely cultivating the reactionary unions more and 
more. This amounts, in substance, to a modifica- 
tion of their historic open-shop policy. This 
tendency manifests itself in many ways, such as 
the "re-build the U.M.W. of A." movement; the 
"granting" of the check-off to the anthracite 
miners; the close collaboration of the bosses, the 
government and the union leaders in the fake 
needle trades strikes; the recognition accorded the 
shop unions by the railroad companies in the recent 
wage negotiations for many roads where they had 
no members, the close cooperation of the A.F. of 
L. and the Federal government, etc. 

One of the most recent and striking mani- 
festations of this tendency was the practically 
unanimous passage of the Norris-La Guardia 
Anti-Injunction bill. This bill, which presuma- 
bly abolishes the "yellow dog" contract and limits 
the power of federal courts to issue injunc- 
tions, in reality does not do away with injunctions 
at all, but lays the basis for their application 
primarily against the revolutionary unions. It is 
a definite move to facilitate the organization of 
the A.F. of L. unions, and to give their reactionary 


leaders a "paper victory" to support the paralyzing 
non-partisan A.F. of L. political policy. It does 
not originate in a sudden burst of liberalism on 
the part of the government, but in a realization of 
the necessity to develop the A.F. of L. leadership 
still further as a strike-breaking organization. 

The capitalist policy to strengthen Social 
Fascism as a barrier against the Communist party 
and the Trade Union Unity League is further ex- 
pressed in the distinct cultivation of the Socialist 
party that is now to be seen all over the country. 
The S.P. has become a thoroughly respectable 
party of "opposition." The capitalists realize that 
the lack of a strong social reformist movement is 
a great disadvantage for them, hence, they are con- 
sciously building the Socialist party as a weapon 
against the Communist party. Its candidates and 
activities are given access to every avenue of pub- 
licity. The endorsement of Norman Thomas by 
most of the capitalist press in New York in the 
recent elections shows the way the wind is blowing. 
The capitalists know their own. 

Such methods of galvanizing Social Fascism into 
life must fail. The masses of workers can never be 
dragooned into organizations that are so mani- 
festly carrying out policies hostile to their interest. 
But this is not to minimize the danger. The Social 
Fascist method of obscuring the capitalist policy 
under the guise of Socialism is an insidious menace. 
It is now and will remain until the revolution the 


most dangerous capitalist influence among the 
working class, the most serious brake upon the 
class struggle. The progress of the revolutionary 
movement is to be measured by the breaking of the 
Social Democracy's grip upon the workers, ideo- 
logically and organizationally. 

That there is such a breaking-down process now 
going on is self-evident, and this disintegration will 
increase with the sharpening of the general crisis of 
capitalism. The Social Democratic illusions of the 
masses are weakening, despite the frantic efforts of 
the "left" phrase-mongers to keep them alive. 
Less and less able are the employers to put into 
effect their traditional policy of corrupting the 
strategically situated labor aristocracy and thus to 
play them off against the rest of the working class. 
The differences between the skilled and unskilled 
are diminishing, the working class is becoming uni- 
fied. More and more skillful become the newly- 
organized Communist parties in mobilizing the 
rebellious masses. Consequently, the employers 
are compelled to make ever greater use of open 
force against the workers, to resort to a policy of 
naked Fascism. 

The Futility of Fascism 

ABOVE, we have pointed out the tendency towards 
the development of Fascism in all capitalist coun- 
tries. Italy is the classical example of this tend- 


ency carried to its logical conclusion. Defenders 
of capitalism the world over have looked hopefully 
towards Italy for a solution of the capitalist crisis. 
Mussolini, as well as Ford, seemed to have the an- 
swer for capitalism's woes. But we shall see that 
this is not so. 

Fascism is not an alternative to capitalism; it 
is capitalism, the most extreme expression of the 
capitalistic dictatorship. As Manuilsky says: 
"The Fascist regime is not a new type of State; 
it is one of the forms of the bourgeois dictatorship 
in the epoch of imperialism." " Fascism does not 
amend capitalist economics. The economic policy 
of Fascism is the familiar capitalist program of the 
exploitation of the workers and poor farmers. 
The difference between Fascism and a bourgeois 
democratic regime is that the former is more ex- 
treme and brutal in its exploitation of the toilers. 
As Manuilsky says further: "The main factor in 
Fascism is its open offensive against the working 
class with the employment of every form of vio- 
lence and coercion." Thus, inevitably, Fascism 
deepens the contradictions of capitalist society. It 
must result in intensifying the economic crisis and 
in stimulating the revolutionization of the toilers. 

The wide development of Fascism in various 
forms in the several capitalist countries is not a 
sign of capitalism growing stronger, but weaker. 
Fascism arises with the deepening of the capitalist 

11 The Communist Parties and the Crisis of Capitalism, p. 36. 


crisis. It is the desperate means by which capi- 
talism in its extremity of crisis vainly tries to save 
itself. It is significant that Fascism is most de- 
veloped in exactly those countries that are the 
weakest links in the capitalist world chain. In 
some instances, to crush the workers, it incorpo- 
rates the Social Fascist parties and unions into its 
machinery; in others, it destroys not only the So- 
cial Fascist organizations but also Liberal group- 

Fascism is the instrument of finance capital. It 
speeds the development of State capitalism, linking 
the employers' organizations, "trade unions," etc. 
directly to the government. Here, indeed, is a 
heaven for capitalist "planners." Hence, all over 
the world, the advocates of an "organized capi- 
talism" have looked hopefully towards Italy. We 
even find people who falsely dub themselves Com- 
munists asserting that Fascism can liquidate the 
economic crisis and do away with the class struggle. 
Thus V. F. Calverton says in The Modern Quar- 
terly, (Jan.-Mar., 1931): "In either case (Com- 
munism or Fascism, WZF) industry can be 
organized into a scientific unit, the present dissipa- 
tion of energy be saved, and the friction of 
democratic struggle be destroyed." 

But capitalism's hope in Fascist Italy has been 
no less futile than its enthusiasm for the "new 
capitalism" in the United States. Italy is just 
as deep in the mud of the capitalist crisis as other 


countries are in its mire. During the past year 
Italian industrial production has rapidly declined, 
examples of this decrease being steel 16%, cotton 
30%, automobiles 50%, etc., the general average 
of decline being about 40%. Exports, notwith- 
standing government forced-draft methods of 
dumping, have dropped seriously. The crisis also 
manifests itself heavily in the realm of finance; 
the stocks of the largest and most important in- 
dustrial undertakings having fallen off 50% to 
75% since 1929; in November the Banca Com- 
merciale Italiana, the largest bank in Italy, was 
saved from bankruptcy only by drastic govern- 
ment aid; in 1931 the government faced a deficit of 
896,000,000 lire as against a surplus of 150,000,000 
lire in 1930. 

The living standards of the Italian workers and 
peasants have also catastrophically declined. An 
Associated Press dispatch of Mar. 15, 1932, says: 
"Italy's unemployed at the end of February to- 
talled 1,147,000, a new high and an increase of 
96,000 in a month." Only one-fourth receive the 
beggarly unemployment benefits. Wages have 
been slashed as much as 40% in the past four years. 
The prices paid to the peasants for their products 
have been similarly cut. So greatly have the 
masses been impoverished that Mussolini could 
cynically remark: "It is fortunate for Italy that 
the Italian workers and peasants are not in the 
habit of eating more than once a day." 


The inevitable result of such conditions is a rising 
revolutionary movement in Italy also, despite the 
ferocious terror. The Chicago Tribune, (Feb. 20, 
1932), says: "A wave of unrest is sweeping Italy 
from North to South and in many places disturb- 
ances have taken on the character of mass risings 
of the countryside against the authorities . . . the 
ordinary police forces are helpless and only the ar- 
rival of reserves prevented the rioters from lynch- 
ing the authorities." 

Fascism, the weapon of big capitalists, bankers 
and land-owners, finds its chief mass base among 
the petty bourgeoisie until these eventually be- 
come revolutionized by the intolerable conditions. 
The mass of the workers cannot be won over to 
Fascism. They see in Fascism a murde*-ous enemy 
of the working class. The most that the Musso- 
linis and Hitlers can do is to temporarily win the 
support of sections of office employees and 
agricultural workers and others of the more back- 
ward and politically inexperienced toilers. As 
the workers free themselves from Social Demo- 
cratic illusions they go to Communism, not to 

In his new book, As I See It, Norman Thomas 
develops the theory that the revolt of the workers 
cannot succeed in the face of the highly-destructive 
arms possessed by the capitalists, that the airplane 
can defeat the barricade. But this is only a call 
to the workers to surrender. The ruling class, 


also under Fascism, must have a mass base. It can 
not maintain power without one, notwithstanding 
all its airplanes and artillery. Fascism, as we have 
seen, has such a base in the petty bourgeoisie, and 
Fascism will disintegrate as this base collapses. In 
Italy, Poland and other Fascist countries this dis- 
integration is clearly proceeding with the develop- 
ment of the capitalist crisis. The revolution 
attacks Fascism not only from without but from 

The proletarian revolution cannot be crushed 
by force, even with the assistance of the most tricky 
Social Fascist and Fascist demagogy. Chang Kai 
Shek slaughtered 200,000 militant workers and 
peasants in the greatest reign of terror of modern 
history, but the wave of revolution in China mounts 
higher and higher. Poland, in spite of its extreme 
Fascist terrorism, goes rapidly to the revolutionary 
crisis. De Rivera in Spain learned something 
about trying to rule by violence, and the Russian 
Czar likewise. Hitler, if he comes to power in 
Germany, will eventually learn the same bitter les- 
son. And in Italy there is a revolutionary storm 
brewing that will blow Fascism to bits. 

Mussolini was able to seize the power in Italy 
because of the Socialist betrayal of the great metal 
strike of 1920, which demoralized the workers who 
had hoped to make the revolution. Fascism is not 
an inevitable stage of the capitalist dictatorship; 
the revolution may forestall it. But it is possible 


that Fascism will secure the power in Germany, 
England, Japan, the United States and other coun- 
tries through similar Socialist betrayals. In any 
event, however, Fascism will not be able to solve 
the capitalist crisis, and to save the present decay- 
ing social system. It cannot liquidate the class 
struggle; it cannot permanently hold down the 
workers and poor farmers by force. Faced by 
constantly worsening conditions and mass starva- 
tion, these masses will, under the leadership of the 
Communist party, eventually break through every 
system of Fascist terrorism and establish a Soviet 



IN THE preceding chapters we have seen that world 
capitalism, of which American capitalism is an in- 
tegral part, sinks deeper and deeper into general 
crisis, with consequent widespread impoverishment 
of the masses, development of the menacing danger 
of imperialist war, and growth of a world- wide 
revolutionary upsurge by the exploited masses of 
toilers. We have seen, further, that every effort 
of the world bourgeoisie to halt or reverse these 
conditions only results, in the long run, in their 
intensification. Special measures to ease the pres- 
ent economic cyclical crisis inflation, interna- 
tional moratoriums, State budget reductions, etc. 
cannot permanently cure the basic general crisis 
of capitalism. This general crisis, with each re- 
curring cyclical crisis, deepens and spreads. 

In revolutionary contrast, we have seen the strik- 
ing success of Socialism in the Soviet Union. 
There the workers and farmers have overthrown 
capitalism and established the dictatorship of the 

proletariat; they have found the solution to the 



economic, political and social contradictions which 
are undermining the capitalist world. As the 
capitalist system internationally sinks deeper and 
deeper into crisis, the Socialist system in the 
U.S.S.R. achieves an even faster rate of progress 
to higher stages of well-being and culture for the 

The implications of all this are clear: to escape 
the encroaching capitalist starvation and to emanci- 
pate themselves, the workers of the world, includ- 
ing those in this country, must and will take the 
revolutionary way out of the crisis. That is, they 
will carry out a militant policy now in defense of 
their daily interests and, finally, following the ex- 
ample of the Russian workers, they will abolish 
capitalism and establish Socialism. 

The Conquest of Political Power 

BY THE term "abolition" of capitalism we mean 
its overthrow in open struggle by the toiling 
masses, led by the proletariat. Although the world 
capitalist system constantly plunges deeper into 
crisis we cannot therefore conclude that it will col- 
lapse of its own weight. On the contrary, as 
Lenin has stated, no matter how difficult the capi- 
talist crisis becomes, "there is no complete absence 
of a way out" for the bourgeoisie until it faces the 
revolutionary proletariat in arms. 

For the capitalists the way out of the crisis is 


by forcing great masses of unemployed into semi- 
starvation, driving down the wage levels of the 
employed, waging desperate imperialist war, and 
instituting a regime of Fascist terrorism. This is 
the way the whole capitalist world development 
goes. For the workers, the capitalist way out 
means deeper enslavement and poverty than ever. 

The capitalists will never voluntarily give up 
control of society and abdicate their system of ex- 
ploiting the masses. Regardless of the devastating 
effects of their decaying capitalism; let there be 
famine, war, pestilence, terrorism, they will hang 
on to their wealth and power until it is snatched 
from their hands by the revolutionary proletariat. 

The capitalists will not give up of their own 
accord ; nor can they be talked, bought or voted out 
of power. To believe otherwise would be a deadly 
fatalism, disarming and paralyzing the workers in 
their struggle. No ruling class ever surrendered 
to a rising subject class without a last ditch open 
fight. To put an end to the capitalist system will 
require a consciously revolutionary act by the great 
toiling masses, led by the Communist party; that is, 
the conquest of the State power, the destruction 
of the State machine created by the ruling class, 
and the organization of the proletarian dictator- 
ship. The lessons of history allow of no other con- 

It is the historical task of the proletariat to put 
a last end to war. Nevertheless, the working class 


cannot itself come into power without civil war. 
This is not due to the choice of the toilers ; it is be- 
cause the ruling class will never permit itself to be 
ousted without such a fight. "Force," says Marx, 
"is the midwife of every old society when it is preg- 
nant with the new one ; force is the instrument and 
the means by which social movements hack their 
way through and break up the fossilized political 
forms." The Program of the Communist Inter- 
national thus puts the matter : 

"The conquest of power by the proletariat does not 
mean peacefully 'capturing' the ready-made bourgeois 
State machinery by means of a parliamentary majority. 
The bourgeoisie resort to every means of violence and 
terror to safeguard and strengthen its predatory prop- 
erty and its political domination. Like the feudal no- 
bility of the past, the bourgeoisie cannot abandon its 
historical position to the new class without a desperate 
and frantic struggle." 

The Social Fascists make a great parade of 
their theory of the "gradual" evolution of capi- 
talism into Socialism through a process of peaceful 
parliamentarism. Thus Mr. Hilquit, the million- 
aire leader of the Socialist party says : "In the more 
democratic countries, especially those in which the 
Socialist and labor movements constitute important 
political and social factors, the necessary transi- 
tional reforms, or at least a large part of them, may 
be gradually conquered through the direct control 
by the proletariat of important organs of the State, 


such as municipalities or legislatures, or through 
the indirect influence of the growing labor move- 
ment." 1 Mr. Hillquit, like Social Fascists gen- 
erally, goes on to say that the present imperialist 
government is actually the "Socialist transitional 
State, although it would be impossible for us to 
say just when we entered it." 

We have seen in the previous chapter just what 
this "gradualness" theory of the Social Fascists 
means in practice simply the creation of a united 
front with the capitalists to throw the burden of 
the crisis upon the workers, to try desperately to 
save the capitalist system and to crush back the 
revolution. Nor does the future hold any better 
perspective for this theory so far as the workers 
are concerned. Nowhere in the experience of the 
world class struggle can any justification be found 
for the conception that the capitalists have per- 
mitted or ever will permit themselves to be shifted 
from their ruling position without an open strug- 
gle. On the contrary, the evidence is entirely in 
the other direction. The capitalist class always 
brutally uses its armed forces against rebellious 
workers, meanwhile throwing its democracy and 
parliamentarism into the waste-basket. 

What the capitalist class does when it is in a 
revolutionary situation is conclusively shown by 
the experience in Italy. In 1920 the Italian capi- 
talists found themselves confronting a revolution- 

i Socialism in Theory and Practice, p. 103. 


ary crisis. Hence, they made no delay in 
scrapping their whole parliamentary system, adopt- 
ing a program of Fascist violence and proceeding 
with fire and sword against the working class, pre- 
viously betrayed and demoralized by the Socialist 
party. Workers and peasants were murdered and 
a reign of terror instituted on every front. Par- 
liamentary representatives were expelled or assas- 
sinated, unions and cooperatives broken up, etc. 
Who but a political illiterate or a plain betrayer 
of the working class can assert that these Italian 
Fascist capitalist bandits can ever be voted out of 
power ? 

The situation in Germany teaches the same les- 
sons. The German bourgeoisie, fearing the revo- 
lution, are developing Fascism to drown it in blood. 
The Reichstag is only a democratic sham to hide 
the almost naked Fascist dictatorship. In Eng- 
land, although the crisis is not so far developed, 
Fascist trends are beginning to be seen. The Eng- 
lish bourgeoisie, like the German, French, and 
others, will not surrender without the bitterest war 
against the proletariat. Or perhaps India and 
China present valid examples of how the toiling 
masses can achieve their emancipation without 
struggle? Chang Kai Shek would be especially 
responsive, mayhap, to parliamentary action by 
the workers and peasants ? 

But the history of the American capitalist class 
offers ample evidence that the toilers can defeat the 


ruling class only in an open struggle. The Ameri- 
can bourgeois revolution of 1776, even as the Rus- 
sian Bolshevik revolution of 1917, was carried 
through on the basis of armed struggle. This fact 
the patriotic ladies of the D.A.R., fearful of the 
"bad" example set to the rising proletariat, would 
like to forget. "American history gives us another 
example of the same principle when, by the elec- 
tion of Lincoln, the overwhelming majority voted 
out of power in the United States government the 
southern slave holders, these slave holders took up 
arms to maintain their particular system of exploi- 
tation against the will of the majority." 2 

Nor has the American capitalist class ever hesi- 
tated to use violence against the toilers whenever 
its smallest interests were involved. Have we not 
seen that time and again when workers have struck 
against actual starvation conditions they have had 
to face troops, as well as armies of police, gunmen, 
etc. ? Ludlow, Paint and Cabin creeks in West 
Virginia, Gastonia, Kentucky, and innumerable 
other examples of the use of armed force tell their 
own story. If the capitalists of this country pass 
so quickly to the use of violence against the work- 
ers when the latter are fighting for the simplest 
economic demands, what will they do when they 
face a revolutionary situation in which their whole 
system is at stake ? To ask the question is to an- 
swer it. 

2 Statement of Communist Party to the Fish Committee. 


In view of the universal lessons to the contrary, 
it is a crime to teach the workers that they can de- 
feat such a ruthless capitalist class without open 
struggle. The Social Fascist theory that the eco- 
nomic and political contradictions of capitalism, 
will of themselves, by a gradual democratization of 
the State, bring about the automatic, peaceful, and 
painless transformation of capitalism into Social- 
ism paralyzes the struggle of the workers and 
facilitates the rule of the bourgeoisie. The social 
Fascists, with the help of the Trotzkyist, Max 
Eastman, 3 vainly try to distort Marx in support 
of their theory. 

This Social Fascist theory of "gradualness" is 
the most insidious that the workers have to deal 
with. But there are many others, if less important, 
that tend in a similar direction. Among these are 
the "folded-arm" general strike conception of the 
Syndicalists; the sectarian scholasticism of the So- 
cialist Labor party and the Proletarian party; the 
petty bourgeois Anarchist theories of individual 
violence ; 4 Gandhi's non-cooperation, non-violence 
program; the capitalistic Utopias of Carver, Gil- 
lette and others for the workers directly to buy out 
the capitalist industries (expressed in their books 
respectively, The Present Economic Revolution in 
the United States and The People's Corporation); 
the fatalism of Veblen who, in The Price System 

3 Marx and Lenin. 

* See Living My Life, by Emma Goldman, to learn how remote 
petty bourgeois Anarchism is from the proletarian revolution. 


and the Engineers, maintains that capitalism will 
eventually, through the working of its inner contra- 
dictions, get into such a chronic and devastating 
crisis that in desperation society will spontaneously 
call upon the engineers to take over the operation 
of the industries and the government. 

The question of the revolution is not merely one 
of a ripe objective situation. Such is, of course, a 
first requisite for the revolution. But the subjec- 
tive factor is no less decisive. Capitalism will not 
grow into Socialism. The great masses of toilers 
must be in a revolutionary mood; they must have 
the necessary organization and revolutionary pro- 
gram ; they must smash capitalism. This all means 
that they must be under the general leadership of 
the only revolutionary party, the Communist party. 
The real measure of a revolutionary situation in 
any given country is the strength of the Com- 
munist party. 

Capitalism established itself as a world system 
by force. It defeated feudalism and laid the basis 
of its own power in a whole series of revolutionary 
civil wars in England, the United States, France, 
etc. Moreover, it has lived 'by violence, its regime 
being marked by the most terrible exploitation and 
devastating wars in human history. And capi- 
talism will die sword in hand, fighting in vain to 
beat back the oncoming revolutionary proletariat. 


The Revolutionary Forces in the United 

Now LET us see if there are enough latent revolu- 
tionary forces in the United States to carry 
through the revolution, and what progress has been 
made in organizing them. In Chapter I we have 
seen how deep is the impoverishment of the toiling 
masses of workers and farmers and how tre- 
mendously this is being intensified by the economic 
crisis. We must, therefore, examine how extensive 
these impoverished classes are; see, in fact, who 
owns America, and who has a stake in the revo- 

The Labor Fact Book, basing its conclusions 
upon the report of the Federal Trade Commis- 
sion, says, "The richest 1% of the population in 
the United States owns at least 59 % of the wealth ; 
the petty capitalists, (12%), own at least 31 % of 
the wealth; and the great mass of industrial work- 
ers, working farmers, and small shop keepers, or 
87% of the population, own barely 10%." These 
figures, constantly developing more favorably for 
the rich and spelling deepening exploitation, pov- 
erty and misery for the poor, show graphically 
enough who has a real stake in the country and 
who has not. 

The choicest "flowers" of American capitalism 
are such multi-billionaires as the House of Mor- 
gan, which controls corporations worth $74,000,- 


000,000, including innumerable railroads, banks, 
insurance companies, auto plants, steel mills, etc.; 
the Rockefellers with their billions in oil, chemi- 
cals, railroads, banks, etc.; the Mellon family, 
whose wealth control is estimated by W. P. Beazell, 
in the current World's Work, at eight billion dol- 
lars; the great Ford fortune, etc. "In 1929, 504 
millionaires had incomes of $1,185,100,000, or more 
than the selling price of all American wheat and 
cotton in 1930." 6 

It is among the great masses of the 87% who 
own only 10% of the national wealth that the revo- 
lution will find a sufficiency of forces to overthrow 
capitalism. Capitalism in this country will learn 
to its undoing that the producing masses will not 
tolerate a condition where they are forced to work 
and starve while the great wealth they produce 
flows automatically, by the operation of the capi- 
talist system, to still further swell the fortunes of 
a handful of wealthy social parasites. "Wars and 
panics on the stock exchange; machine gunfire and 
arson; starvation, lice, cholera and typhus; good 
growing weather for the House of Morgan," says 
John Dos Passos, in his book, 1919, and the same 
can be said for capitalists generally. The statistics 
of the distribution of wealth in the United States 
and the general worsening of the toilers' standards 
are figures and conditions that speak in terms of 
eventual revolution. 

5 America Faces the Future, p. 356. 


In analyzing the potentially revolutionary forces 
the first group to be considered are the workers. 
They are the very heart of the revolutionary move- 
ment and lead it in all its stages. Including the 
agricultural wage workers, the total number of 
wage and salaried workers in the United States 
is about 35,000,000, out of a total of approximately 
43,000,000 "gainfully employed." With their 
families they constitute at least 70% of the total 
population of this country. Overwhelmingly they 
are low-paid unskilled and semi-skilled workers 
who are manifestly being radicalized rapidly under 
pressure of worsening conditions. The so-called 
skilled workers, although somewhat better off than 
the rest, are losing their privileged position. Un- 
employment, wage-cuts, etc., are also radicalizing 
these skilled workers, whose position in industry 
has steadily become less strategic through speciali- 
zation, mechanization, etc. Their aristocratic iso- 
lation from the rest of the workers is being broken 
down; the crisis is unifying the working class. 
The most conservative sections of the working 
class are the office workers, who comprise about 
10% of the whole. But here again, rapidly wors- 
ening conditions are having their inevitable results. 
Although in the first phases of the crisis these 
white collar elements offer a recruiting ground for 
Fascism, eventually, as events in Germany show, 
their trend is, in the main, in the direction that the 
working class travels. 


Next to the workers in revolutionary importance 
are the poor farmers. Although not wage work- 
ers themselves, the poor farmers play a decisive 
revolutionary role in all countries as the allies of 
the proletariat. Especially important are they in 
the United States where agriculture occupies such 
a large position in the national economy. The es- 
timated farm population on Jan. 1, 1931, was 
27,430,000, a decline of 4,500,000 since 1910. The 
great masses are poor and getting poorer. The 
income of the whole group, including the richer 
farmers, amounts only to about 10% of the total 
national income of all classes in the United States, 
although the farmers comprise about 22% of the 
entire population. Capitalism has nothing to offer 
the poor farmer except more and more pauperi- 
zation. An official of the Federal Reserve Bank, 
quoted in Current History, Mar., 1932, brutally 
states this as follows: "Our farmers should stop 
buying radios and Ford cars and live like peas- 
ants." Talk about collectivization of the farms 
under capitalism is Utopian; this can take place 
only under a Soviet system. The way to the big 
farm under capitalism is by the starvation and ex- 
propriation of the small farmers, which goes ahead 
ever faster. Mr. Pitkin is wrong when he declares 
in The Forum, Aug., 1931, that "The American 
farmer must go the way of the coolie or the cor- 
poration." He will go neither way, but to So- 
cialism. The American small farmer will play a 


vital role in the developing Communist movement 
in the United States. 

The Negroes also constitute a great potentially 
revolutionary force. Comprising about 12,000,000, 
they are the poorest of the poor. They are made 
up of the most impoverished farmers, the lowest 
paid workers in the industries and in domestic 
service. They are the most bitterly exploited and 
persecuted element of the whole population. 
There is no section which has to confront such ter- 
rible economic, political, and social conditions. At 
his every turn the Negro faces a system of the 
rankest discrimination and exploitation. His out- 
rageous position in society is a blazing indictment 
and exposure of the sham American capitalist 

In industry the Negro is forced to take the hard- 
est, dirtiest work for the lowest wages; he is de- 
nied access to the skilled trades; he is the last to 
be hired and the first to be fired during industrial 
crises ; when unemployment relief is distributed he 
is shamelessly discriminated against. As an agri- 
cultural worker and share-crop farmer in the 
South, he is subjected to an almost chattel slavery 
exploitation and terrorism from landlords, bank- 
ers, etc. In his political life he is disfranchised; 
he is denied the right to hold office and to vote; he 
is refused the right of trial by jury; he is savagely 
lynched by mobs of whites, led by business men and 
landlords, and the State condones these shocking 


murders; in court his word counts for nothing 
against a white man's; when convicted, he receives 
sentences two or three times as severe as white men 
get for similar offenses. Socially the Negro is 
ostracized. Not only in the South but also in the 
North. He is systematically Jim-Crowed in ho- 
tels, restaurants, theatres, etc.; he is denied the 
right to an education; he is made to live in the 
most unsanitary sections of towns; his women- folk 
are the object of unpunished insult and assault 
from the whites. 

The capitalists try to keep the Negroes isolated 
by cultivating race prejudice among the white 
workers; but this cannot permanently succeed. 
The white workers will learn that only in the most 
complete solidarity with the Negro masses can 
they make headway in defending their interests. 
The Negro masses will make the very best fighters 
for the revolution. The manner in which they are 
turning to the Communist party for organization 
and leadership constitutes one of the most impor- 
tant political facts in American life. The Negro 
petty bourgeois leaders are non-plussed by it. In 
a symposium of 17 non-Communist Negro editors 
in The Crisis, (April, 1932), a Social Fascist jour- 
nal, on the issue of Communism among the Ne- 
groes, W. M. Kelly declares: "the wonder is not 
that the Negro is beginning, at least, to think along 
Communistic lines, but that he did not embrace that 
doctrine en masse long ago." 


The revolution will not fail to recruit many sup- 
porters also from the ranks of the lesser city petty 
bourgeoisie. The advance of capitalism inevitably 
crushes down into the proletariat great masses of 
the small tradesmen, petty manufacturers, profes- 
sionals, intellectuals, etc., that make up this big 
class. The steady progress of trustified capital in 
industry has long since broken the backbone of 
the petty bourgeoisie in this field, and now the 
chain store is ruthlessly invading its greatest 
stronghold, retail trade. According to Ray B. 
Westerfield in Current History, (Dec., 1931), 
there were in 1930 in the United States 7837 chains 
of stores with 198,145 units, and the movement is 
growing like wildfire. This wholesale ruin of the 
petty bourgeoisie, brought about by the normal 
development of capitalism, is hastened by the in- 
dustrial crisis, during which the process of the con- 
centration of capital proceeds faster than ever. 
Large masses of the petty bourgeoisie are being 
impoverished. These elements are the natural re- 
cruiting ground for Fascism, but the Communist 
party does not surrender them to the Fascists. 
Experience, especially in Germany, where the ex- 
propriation, proletarianization and even pauperi- 
zation of the petty bourgeoisie has developed to 
unprecedented degree, shows that great numbers 
of these people logically become convinced that 
capitalism holds no hope for them and that only in 
Communism is there a prospect for life and happi- 


ness. The recent significant mass protest against 
the proposed Federal sales tax was principally a 
movement of the discontented petty bourgeoisie. 

Especially is there a trend among the petty bour- 
geois intellectuals towards Communism. This is 
shown by the many prominent writers in Europe 
and the United States who in the past few years 
have declared for Communism. In the past pe- 
riod American imperialism provided a good living 
for the intellectuals and professionals generally. 
Those already carrying on their active work had 
easy pickings; those who were graduating from 
the innumerable colleges and universities found 
soft berths awaiting them. So the American in- 
telligentsia, almost unanimously, united in a hymn 
of hundred percentism. But the capitalist crisis 
has changed all this. Many intellectuals and pro- 
fessionals now find their means of making a live- 
lihood either wiped out or drastically curtailed, 
with consequent heavy drops in their standards of 
living. "A short time ago," says The Nation, 
(Mar. 3, 1932), "it was revealed that 45 members 
of the Detroit Bar Association were on-the-wel- 
fare recipients of municipal charity." It is 
such conditions of keen competition, inferior re- 
muneration and actual unemployment that the 
budding intellectuals still in the schools and col- 
leges have to face. It is not surprising, therefore, 
that currents of radicalism begin to develop among 
intellectuals generally. Of this the recent student 


strike at Columbia University was an example. 
Even the intellectuals are being compelled to think. 
At first, in this discontent there may be strong 
Fascist or semi-Fascist currents, but eventually 
much of it will develop in the direction of the revo- 
lution and Communism. 

In measuring the potential forces for and 
against the revolution, naturally the question of 
the role to be played by the army and navy is one 
of fundamental importance; for, in the final show- 
down, it is upon them that the bourgeoisie relies 
to maintain its control. If it loses the armed 
forces, then all is lost. Here, certainly, the revo- 
lution will recruit powerful forces, with fatal ef- 
fects to capitalism. The armed forces are not 
impervious to Communism simply because they 
have patriotic propaganda dinned into their ears 
and are subjected to a rigid discipline. The great 
bulk of these forces originate in proletarian or 
farmer families and they eventually respond to the 
sufferings and miseries of their close relatives. 
Especially is all this true of conscript armies. Be- 
sides, they have their own deep grievances in the 
service. Experience teaches that such worker- 
peasant forces are very unreliable for the bour- 
geoisie. This was exemplified by the armies of 
the Czar and the Kaiser in the Russian and Ger- 
man revolutionary situations. It was only a few 
months ago that the capitalists of the world got a 


shiver of fright and a foretaste of the future by 
the revolts in the British and Chilean navies. 

Within these great blocs of the population 
the workers, farmers, Negroes, lesser city petty 
bourgeoisie there are sufficient potential revolu- 
tionary forces to put an end to capitalism. They 
constitute the overwhelming majority of the 
people. And the deepening capitalist crisis will 
revolutionize them. The objective that the Com- 
munist party aims at in the mobilization of these 
forces is the winning of the majority of the work- 
ing class. With a majority of the workers, which 
in a revolutionary situation would necessarily carry 
along with it large numbers of the other revolu- 
tionary elements, the Party would be within strik- 
ing distance of the revolution. 

But, of course, the American Communist party 
is only making a beginning in the accomplishment 
of this great task. Formed in 1919 by a split-off 
of the left wing of the Socialist party, it is now 
laying its foundations among the workers. Al- 
though the Party is still lagging very much behind 
the objective possibilities and has by no means 
mobilized the masses who are ripe for its leader- 
ship, it is, nevertheless, substantially increasing its 
membership and influence in all the key industries 
and localities. The actual strength of the Com- 
munist movement in the United States is not some- 
thing that can be accurately stated in just so many 
figures. It has to be measured largely by the gen- 


eral mass influence of the Party and its program. 

The membership of the Communist party is 
approximately 15,000. To this should be added 
5,000 members in the Young Communist League. 
These figures represent the number of dues-payers, 
the body of Communists who are thoroughly con- 
scious of the necessity of maintaining a permanent, 
disciplined Party. But the influence of the Party 
stretches far and wide beyond the limits of its 
actual membership. Thus the nine daily papers 
of the Party have a combined circulation of about 
200,000. Besides this there are 20 weekly, semi- 
monthly, and monthly papers with about 100,000 
circulation. This is the Party press proper. In 
addition, there are a large number of weekly and 
monthly papers in the revolutionary unions, de- 
fense, relief, fraternal and other organizations, 
with at least another 100,000 circulation. 

In the 1928 elections, with the Party on the bal- 
lot in 34 states, it polled 48,770 votes. In the 
"off-year," 1930, in 18 states it polled 82,651. 
The Fish committee, in its report, with great 
alarm pointed out that there was an increase of 
229% in 16 states. In the 1931 elections consid- 
erable increases were scored in many localities, two 
Communist councilmen being elected in Ohio and 
four in Minnesota. Doubtless, the 1932 national 
elections will register a large increase in the Party 
vote. But elections, for a number of reasons, are 


not an exact register of the Party strength. For 
one thing, large numbers of the poorer-paid work- 
ers, to whom naturally the Party makes the 
strongest appeal, are disfranchised because of 
shifts of residence, through unemployment, through 
tax delinquencies and foreign birth. Also, in a 
great many cases Communist votes are scornfully 
ignored by the usual ultra-reactionary election 
machines and are not counted. Moreover, in the 
ranks of revolutionary workers there are many who 
underestimate the great importance of voting in 
the elections. 

The real power of the Party is seen in the mass 
movements which it initiates itself, or which, ini- 
tiated by other revolutionary organizations, it gives 
its full support. The biggest of these are the 
movements of the unemployed. In the March 
6th, 1930, national demonstration for unemploy- 
ment insurance no less than 1,250,000 workers 
participated throughout the country. This huge 
outpouring was followed in the ensuing months by 
many large local demonstrations, state hunger 
marches, etc. A demand upon the federal gov- 
ernment in 1930 for the adoption of the Workers' 
Unemployment Insurance Bill contained approxi- 
mately 1,000,000 individual and collective en- 
dorsements. The big National Hunger March of 
December, 1931, put in motion during the many 
hundreds of local demonstrations held in connec- 
tion therewith, at least 1,000,000 workers. The 


unemployed councils, organized under the National 
Committee of the Unemployed Councils and made 
up of workers of all political opinions, number at 
least 75,000 members. 

The Communist party also exerts a wide and 
growing influence in the trade union field. Its 
main support is given to the building of the 
revolutionary unions of the Trade Union Unity 
League. It also lays great stress upon the forma- 
tion of revolutionary minorities and movements in- 
side the A.F. of L. unions. During the past 
several years the revolutionary unions and minori- 
ties have conducted a number of large mass strug- 
gles. Among these were the New York cloak 
(35,000) and fur (12,000) strikes in 1926-7, and 
the Passaic textile strike (15,000) during the 
same period. In the United Mine Workers of 
America, in 1926, the left wing candidate polled 
101,000 votes, or an actual majority, but was 
robbed of the election by the corrupt Lewis ma- 
chine. In the big U.M.W.A. strike of 1927-8 at 
least 100,000 miners followed the lead of the left 
wing. The important strike of the Gastonia tex- 
tile workers in 1929 was conducted by the revolu- 
tionary National Textile Workers Union. In 
Lawrence, in Feb., 1931, the N.T.W.U. led a short 
strike of 10,000. It has since led a dozen smaller 
strikes in many New England textile towns and 
played a big role in the strikes later in the year 
in Paterson and Lawrence. During the Spring 


and Summer of 1931 the National Miners Union 
of the TUUL conducted a strike of 40,000 miners 
for three months in Western Pennsylvania, East- 
ern Ohio and Northern West Virginia. At pres- 
ent it is leading the heroic strike of the Kentucky 
miners. The foregoing are some of the larger 
struggles of the revolutionary union forces. The 
total membership of the unions of the TUUL is 
approximately 40,000, the minorities in the trade 
unions, less definitely organized, are double or 
triple that number. In the case of the TUUL 
unions and minorities, as with all the revolutionary 
organizations, their influence over the masses ex- 
tends far beyond the borders of their actual mem- 

Among the Negro masses the Communist party 
is developing a wide following. In the unem- 
ployment campaigns, especially in Chicago and 
Cleveland, many thousands of Negroes militantly 
participated. In the 1931, N.M.U. mine strike 
more than 6,000 of the strikers were Negroes. 
The Party leads the fight to defend the nine 
Scottsboro boys, whom the Southern capitalists are 
trying to legally lynch. It is estimated that no 
less than 1,000,000, a large percentage of whom 
were Negroes, took part in the innumerable mass 
meetings in which this case played a central role. 
The Negro membership of the Party and the 
Party's influence among the Negro masses are rap- 
idly on the increase. 


The Communist party also conducts movements 
and supports revolutionary organizations in many 
other mass activities and struggles. It is a strong 
and leading factor in the fight for the release of 
political prisoners, including Mooney and Billings, 
the Kentucky miners, the Centralia and Imperial 
Valley prisoners, etc. It has organized great dem- 
onstrations against imperialist war. Among the 
farmers, the Party carries on considerable work 
and is gradually laying the basis for a mass or- 

The foregoing facts and figures give at least a 
general idea of the strength of the Communist 
party at the present stage of the development of 
the class struggle in the United States. While 
they indicate that the Party has only made a start 
at the mobilization of the potentially revolutionary 
forces in the United States, they, at the same time, 
sum up into a picture of a Party gradually en- 
trenching itself among the masses, especially the 
most exploited sections, and slowly building youth- 
ful bone and muscle in preparation for the gigan- 
tic revolutionary work that lies ahead. 

The Communist Party; the Party of the Toilers 

THE COMMUNIST PARTY is the only Party that rep- 
resents the interests of these toiling masses of 
workers, farmers, Negroes, lower city petty bour- 
geoisie. It alone fights for their welfare now and 


provides the means for their ultimate prosperity 
and freedom. The other parties and groups 
Republican, Democratic, Progressive and Social- 
ist are the enemies of these classes and the tools 
of the big capitalists. 

The Republican party is the party of finance 
capital, of the great bankers and industrialists of 
Wall Street, of which the Morgan interests stand 
at the head. The Hoover government is the in- 
strument of these owners and rulers of America. 
It uses all its power to oppress the producing 
masses for the benefit of the capitalist exploiters. 
The present situation, with its economic collapse 
and hunger and misery for the broad masses, is 
the logical result of this capitalist policy. From 
the Republican party no relief, but only a worsen- 
ing of existing conditions may be expected. 

The Democratic party is no less the party of the 
big capitalists. Raskob, the dictator of the Demo- 
cratic party, is notoriously the representative of 
the Morgan - General Motors - Dupont interests. 
The corrupt and reactionary Tammany Hall of 
New York City is indistinguishable politically 
from the rotten Republican Vare machine in 
Philadelphia. The Democratic party is directly re- 
sponsible for the unspeakable regime of lynching, 
Jim-Crowism and discrimination against the Ne- 
gro masses in the South, although in this it has the 
full support of the Republican Federal Adminis- 
tration. Wherever the Democratic party is found 


in power its practical policies are identical with 
those of the Republicans and they sum up into a 
defense of the interests of the capitalists at the 
expense of the producing masses. 

In recent years the Democratic party has ever 
more clearly exposed its big capitalist character. 
It long ago abandoned its demagogic attacks on 
the gold standard, imperialism and the trusts. 
And then, when the Morgan representative Ras- 
kob took over the party leadership a few years 
ago, this was immediately followed by the giving 
up completely of the old Democratic policy of low 
tariffs and the adoption of a high tariff policy on 
the Republican model. The thoroughgoing po- 
litical unity of the two capitalist parties was fur- 
ther emphasized by growing tendencies to link 
them up organizationally without, however, aban- 
doning the two-party principle which is so valuable 
to the capitalists. This developing organizational 
unity reached its highest point in the open alliance 
between the heads of both parties in the present 
Congress to put across the Hoover-Wall Street 
program of subsidizing the great banks, starving 
the unemployed, cutting the wages of the em- 
ployed, shifting the tax burden upon the masses, 
preparing for imperialist war, etc. All went 
swimmingly for this two-party machine until it 
slipped a cog in trying to put across the sales tax. 

In 1932 elections, the Democratic party is sched- 
uled to play its historical role as the second party 


of capitalism. Although its basic policies are 
identical with the Republican party, it will make 
a great show of opposition. Large masses of the 
working class, farmers, Negroes and petty bour- 
geoisie are deeply discontented at their impossible 
conditions under the Hoover government. There- 
fore, it is the task of the Democratic party, with 
a flood of demagogy, to delude these masses, and 
to prevent their taking serious steps against the 
capitalists, by keeping them fettered with the two 
capitalist party system. This is the menace of the 
Roosevelts, Garners, Hurrays, Bakers, etc. They 
are among the most effective instruments of the 
capitalists to enforce upon the producing masses a 
continuation of the present hunger regime. 

The Progressive bloc also does not represent the 
interests of the producing masses. It represents 
the rich farmers and certain sections of small capi- 
talists, and it supports the basic policies of Wall 
Street. During the present Congress the so- 
called Progressives supported the elementary pro- 
posals of the Hoover government to throw the 
burden of the crisis upon the producers. Their 
"fight" against the sales tax developed only when, 
in a broad movement of indignation, many mil- 
lions of the small farmers, city petty bourgeoisie 
and workers demanded its rejection. Then, under 
the lash of Wall Street, they fled precipitately and 
proceeded, with later taxation, to undo the defeat 
of the sales tax. The only fight the Progressives 


ever make is for a few crumbs from the rich man's 

The Progressive leaders, like their reactionary 
cronies at the head of the American Federation of 
Labor, fit themselves comfortably into the in- 
famous two-party system. This constitutes a be- 
trayal of the exploited masses into the hands of 
their capitalist enemies. The "non-partisan" pol- 
icy is not simply an expression of political timidity, 
of hesitation to take the initiative in forming a 
new party; it is essentially based upon a political 
unity with the capitalists. We may be sure that 
if and when, under the pressure of the masses, a 
third party is formed, these elements will adopt 
the familiar devices of the Social Fascists to render 
it subservient to the capitalist class. 

Practice shows that the Progressive policies are 
antagonistic to the interests of the exploited 
masses. They cultivate in the worst forms the 
democratic illusions so essential to capitalist con- 
trol. For the unemployed the Progressives have 
produced the typical masterpieces of the massacre 
in Dearborn, for which Mayor Murphy, as well 
as Ford, is responsible; and the Wisconsin Groves 
Law, which, under the name of "unemployment 
insurance," provides even less relief for the unem- 
ployed than they now receive in many cities under 
the Hoover charity-hand-out system. For the em- 
ployed the Progressives have provided wage-cuts, 
on the Hoover-Green model; example, the maneu- 


vers of Pinchot in Pennsylvania with the U.M.W. 
of A. bureaucrats to break the strikes of the min- 
ers in the Pittsburgh and anthracite districts 
against wage-cuts. As for the farmers, the Pro- 
gressives have kept them thoroughly disorganized 
by the non-partisan system: the Federal Farm 
Board, with its wheat and cotton speculation and 
enrichment of the rural bankers and rich farmers 
at the expense of the poor farmers, is the fine 
flower of Progressivism on the farms. Regarding 
the Negroes, the policies of the Progressives, al- 
though dressed up in radical phraseology, are in 
practice indistinguishable from those of the ultra- 
reactionaries : sufficient proof of this being the 
enthusiastic support given to the candidacy of Gov- 
ernor Roosevelt, Progressive Mogul, in the most 
Bourbon sections of the South. 

Progressivism is a grave danger to the working 
class. This is because of the widespread existence 
of petty bourgeois illusions among the workers. 
The LaFollettes, Borahs, La Guardias, Norrises, 
Pinchots, Murphys, etc., are disorganizers and de- 
moralizers of the workers and poor farmers. The 
Progressive bloc is just another lightning rod to 
shield the capitalist profit edifice. 

The Socialist party is the third party of capi- 
talism. This is amply demonstrated by its history 
in the United States and all other countries. The 
Socialist party has nothing constructive to offer the 
workers in their daily struggles now or for their 


ultimate emancipation. The fact that this party 
hides its capitalist face behind a pretense of radi- 
calism makes it more, not less dangerous. 

Already we have dealt in considerable detail 
with the policies and activities of the Socialist 
party. Its advocacy of capitalist trustification 
under slogans of nationalization, cultivation of illu- 
sions regarding "planned economy" under capital- 
ism, support of the League of Nations, militarist 
imperialism cloaked with pacifism, alliance with the 
corrupt leadership of the A.F. of L., policy of 
putting through wage-cuts by fake strikes, rule of 
unions by gangsterism, systematic slander of the 
Soviet Union and minimizing of the war danger, 
etc., is all directly antagonistic to the working 

That is why the capitalists and their press look 
with ever more favor upon the Socialist party. 
The Norman Thomases are being groomed to play 
in the United States some day the role of the Mac- 
Donalds in Great Britain, Boncours in France, 
Scheidemans in Germany, etc. The wage-cutting, 
dole-slashing activities of the British Labor party 
and the German Social Democracy in their attempt 
to bolster up the decaying capitalist system pre- 
sent clearly the perspective for which the Socialist 
party is being built in this country. 

The Socialist party all over the world is a main 
pillar of the capitalist system. Its function is to 
demoralize the workers' defense in the face of the 


capitalist offensive, to break up the workers' 
counter-offensive against the capitalist system. 
The Socialist party is a specialized section of the 
capitalist machinery for exploiting the toiling 
masses. It is particularly dangerous in that it 
takes the workers, just breaking the ideological 
chains of capitalist slavery, and confuses them with 
a defense of capitalism under the pretense of fight- 
ing for Socialism. The Socialist party stabs the 
working class in the back. It, together with its 
fringe elements of Musteites, Lovestoneites, Trot- 
zkyites, etc., has nothing in common with So- 

The Present-Day Tasks of the American 
Revolutionary Movement 

THE TASKS of the Communist party in a given 
country at a specified time, in carrying out its pro- 
gram of class struggle, are, of course, determined 
by the objective situation and the state of the 
workers' mood and organization. Thus these tasks 
vary in the several countries, from the building of 
Socialism in the Soviet Union, open armed war- 
fare in China, and preparations for an early 
revolutionary crisis in Germany, to the most ele- 
mentary phases of mass education, organization 
and struggle in the United States, the stronghold 
of world capitalism. 

In the United States and this is basic in Com- 


munist strategy everywhere the action program 
of the Communist party has its starting point in 
the every-day pressing economic demands of the 
workers. It is not enough that the Party should 
propagate its general slogans among the masses 
and then organize them for the eventual revolu- 
tion. Such a course, as Lenin so forcefully 
pointed out in his famous pamphlet, The Infantile 
Sickness of "Leftism" in Communism, would con- 
demn the Party to isolation and sectarianism. For 
the workers the class struggle is a never-ending 
matter of their daily lives; constantly they are 
confronted with the most urgent necessity to fight 
against the employers, in defense of their interests. 
The Communist party must lead in all these strug- 
gles. It is in such fights that the workers become 
class conscious and organized around the Com- 
munist party. Never would the masses recognize 
as their revolutionary Party one that ignored 
these daily fights and confined itself to a high and 
lofty agitation of revolutionary slogans. 

It is a favorite slander, however, that the Com- 
munist party utilizes the daily struggles of the 
workers merely for agitational purposes. Norman 
Thomas repeats this, saying that Communist im- 
mediate demands are "designed to be impossible 
and so to 'show up' the capitalist system." But 
the truth is just the opposite: the Communist party 
always places as immediate demands those mani- 

America's Way Out, p. 152. 


festly possible of achievement under capitalism 
and then it makes the most determined effort to 
win all it can of them in the struggle. This is be- 
cause the Party has no interests apart from those 
of the working class; it also realizes that such vic- 
tories, instead of destroying the militancy of the 
workers, stimulate it. Lenin called such reforms 
or concessions forced from the employers "by- 
products" of the revolutionary struggle. The 
Party understands clearly that the workers logi- 
cally expect that a Party which proposes eventu- 
ally to overthrow the whole capitalist system should 
know how to organize them to defend their inter- 
ests here and now. As for "showing up" capital- 
ism, this is done by agitation and propaganda and 
by the daily experiences of the workers in the class 
struggle, not by leading the workers to defeat in 
strikes and other movements. 

The Social Fascists try to create the legend that 
the difference between them and the Communists 
is that while they fight for immediate demands, 
the Communists confine themselves simply to ulti- 
mate aims. This is not so. The difference is that 
while the Communists fight for the immediate de- 
mands as well as the final goal, the Social Fascists 
betray both. 

In the present stage of development of the 
working class and of the revolutionary struggle in 
the United States the fight of the workers is essen- 
tially a defensive struggle against the capitalist 


offensive. On all fronts the employers, with the 
government in the lead, are worsening the living 
and working standards of the toilers through wage- 
cuts, throwing millions of workers into unemploy- 
ment, seizing the lands of poor farmers, shifting 
the tax burden onto the producing masses, etc. It 
is the policy of the Communist party to organize 
the workers and farmers and to lead their resist- 
ance to the capitalist offensive, to prevent the capi- 
talists from finding a way out of their crisis at the 
expense and further enslavement of the toiling 
masses. That is why the Communist party is to 
be found everywhere giving its fullest support to 
all struggles of the workers and poor farmers 
against the capitalist attack. 

But the Communist party policy is not simply 
to organize the defense; it seeks also to transform 
the workers' defensive struggles into a counter- 
offensive. It strives to unite the scattered fights 
of the workers into broad class struggles and to 
give them more of a political character. This 
politicalization becomes the more urgent with the 
sharpening offensive of the employers and their 
increasing use of the State against the workers. 
The general effects of politicalizing the workers' 
struggle are to draw larger masses of workers into 
the fight, to direct this fight against the State as 
well as against the employers proper, and thus to 
strengthen the workers' struggle in every respect. 

This politicalization is brought about by the rais- 


ing of political demands which grow out of the 
very struggle itself, not merely by the active propa- 
gation of the ultimate revolutionary program of 
the Communist party. Thus during a strike de- 
mands are made for the right to meet, to picket, 
to strike, for the release of political prisoners, for 
the adoption, enforcement or repeal of labor leg- 
islation, against government arbitration, for the 
withdrawal of troops, etc., and the workers are 
mobilized in various ways for mass action in sup- 
port of these demands. In this way, not only are 
the workers educated to the class character of the 
State, but the broadest class front and most mili- 
tant action is secured in the struggle. In acute 
conditions of class struggle this line of strategy 
leads to the development of the mass political 
strike, during which the more fundamental politi- 
cal demands may be raised. In the question of 
political demands, as well as of economic demands, 
the central Communist strategy always turns 
around the winning of the immediate struggle in 

In the present period of intense capitalist offen- 
sive against the workers, the question of immediate, 
partial economic demands becomes of decisive 
importance. The workers have to fight des- 
perately for the very right to live. Becoming 
ever more radicalized, they make this fight with 
constantly sharpening militancy. Even the small- 
est issues readily blaze into great conflagrations. 


How quickly economic conflicts develop into major 
political struggles was evidenced again by the re- 
cent mutinies in the British and Chilean navies, 
both of which began over wage-cuts. It is inter- 
esting to recall, also, that the mutiny in the Ger- 
man fleet at the end of the World War, although 
prepared by the whole course of events, actually 
began in a flare-up of the men because their ration 
of soap had been cut off. All of which emphasizes 
the correctness of the stress that the Communist 
party places upon the question of practical partial 
demands and the necessity of developing the scat- 
tering economic fights of the workers onto a higher 
political level. 

In thus politicalizing the struggle, the Com- 
munists come into sharpest conflict with the labor 
reactionaries of the Socialist party and the A.F. 
of L. type. As part of these misleaders' general 
policy of choking back the workers' struggles, they 
seek to keep these fights upon a purely economic 
basis. They resist all attempts of the workers to 
militantly fight the State, thus exposing them to 
the sharp political attacks of the employers. A 
typical example of this was the surrender of John 
L. Lewis to the government injunction in the na- 
tional coal strike of 1920 under the slogan of "We 
can't fight the Government." Another outstand- 
ing example of this treacherous policy was during 
the British general strike of 1926. In this great 
fight, with the bosses using every power of the gov- 


ernment to break the strike of the 5,000,000 work- 
ers, the Social Fascist leaders, eager to find a way 
to sell out the strike, put out the slogan that the 
struggle was purely an economic one and they bit- 
terly fought every effort to give it a political char- 
acter. Thus the government was given a free hand 
and a terrific defeat was suffered by the workers v 

The Communist Party Program of Immediate 

THIS is not the place for a detailed statement of 
the program of action of the Communist party. 
But at least an indication of its general character 
may be given. As stated before, the Party bases 
its immediate struggle upon partial demands cor- 
responding to the most urgent necessities of the 
toiling masses. The most important of these de- 
mands are concentrated in the Party's 1932 elec- 
tion platform, as follows : 


2. Against Hoover's wage-cutting policy. 

3. Emergency relief, without restrictions by the gov- 
ernment and banks, for the poor farmers, exemption 
of poor farmers from taxes, and from forced collec- 
tion of debts. 

4. Equal rights for the Negroes, and self-determination 
for the Black Belt. 

5. Against capitalist terror; against all forms of sup- 
pression of the political rights of the workers. 


6. Against imperialist war; for defense of the Chinese 
people and of the Soviet Union. 

The Communist party puts the question of un- 
employment insurance in the very center of its im- 
mediate program. It demands that the federal 
government institute a system of insurance, on the 
basis of full wages, 7 for all unemployed and part- 
time workers, the necessary funds to be paid en- 
tirely by the employers and the State and to be 
raised by the allocation of all war funds, a capital 
levy, increased taxes upon the rich, etc. The 
Party, pending the enactment of adequate unem- 
ployment insurance legislation, demands special 
cash relief from the states and municipalities, 
lower rents, free food for school children of the 
unemployed, free street car fare, public works at 
union wages, abolition of forced labor on such jobs, 
etc. It demands that the insurance and relief sys- 
tems be administered by the workers themselves. 
The Party also demands an adequate system of 
social legislation for old age, sickness, maternity, 
etc. These demands it supports by militant dem- 
onstrations, hunger marches, etc. It endorses the 
Workers' Unemployment Insurance Bill. 

The Party concretizes its fight against the 
Hoover wage-cutting program into a militant 
strike policy. It also fights against the speed-up, 

7 In 1929 average American wages yearly did not exceed $1200, a 
figure ranging from $300 to $1000 less than bare cost-of-living budg- 
ets of the Labor Department and other capitalist institutions. 


against mass lay-offs of workers, for the 7-hour day 
without reduction in weekly wages, (with a 6-hour 
day for the youth, for miners, railroaders, and 
workers in dangerous and unhealthful industries), 
for the adoption and enforcement of adequate leg- 
islation regarding safety and sanitation in in- 

The Party lays the utmost stress upon its de- 
mands for the Negroes. It demands full economic, 
political and social equality for them; it fights to 
eliminate the entire system of discrimination to 
which the Negroes are subjected in industry, in 
the distribution of unemployment relief, in segre- 
gated dwelling districts, in hotels and restaurants, 
in trade unions, in the courts, in political activities ; 
that is, the whole Jim-Crow outrage; it demands 
death for lynchers, and it fights for the right of 
self-determination for the Negro nation in the 
Black Belt of the South. 

For the farmers the Party demands immediate 
emergency cash relief from the government, for 
those crushed by the burden of low prices, high 
taxes, usurious debts, etc.; the exemption of poor 
farmers from the tax burden, abolition of foreclos- 
ures upon land for non-payment of mortgages, the 
full rights of organization and free speech, etc. 

The Party fights against the monstrous tax bur- 
den being heaped from year to year upon the toil- 
ing masses and demands that this be shifted upon 
the rich. It opposes the sales tax and fights for 


higher inheritance taxes, surtaxes, etc. It de- 
mands drastic curtailment in the salaries of gov- 
ernment officials and opposes all wage-cuts for 
government workers. 

The Party fights militantly against the growing 
imperialist war danger. It mobilizes the workers 
to fight against the robber war in China and to de- 
fend the Soviet Union. It demands the with- 
drawal of American armed forces from China. It 
demands recognition of and trade relations with 
the U.S.S.R. It calls upon the workers not to 
transport war munitions for Japanese imperialism. 
It fights against all phases of American imperial- 
ism's program to militarize the American people. 
It gives active support to the masses in Latin- 
America in their fight against American imperial- 
ism. It educates the masses in the revolutionary 
Leninist strategy against war. 

The Party fights against the developing terror- 
ism and suppression of the workers' rights. It de- 
mands the rights of free speech, free assembly, and 
to strike and picket. It combats injunctions by a 
policy of mass violation. It organizes workers' 
defense corps in mass organizations to defend them 
from the violence of the employers and their 
agents. It fights against the finger-printing, de- 
portation and other methods of discrimination used 
towards the foreign-born workers. It demands 
the release of all class war prisoners, the annul- 


ment of anti- Syndicalist laws, abolition of va- 
grancy laws, etc. 

For the young workers the Young Communist 
League, supported by the Party, demands the 
abolition of child labor, the establishment of the 
6-hour day, equal pay with adult workers, rest 
periods in industry, the right to vote, etc. In the 
various strikes the Y.C.L. always raises special 
youth demands. In schools and colleges it organ- 
izes the students and develops their struggle for 
better conditions. It also organizes the youth in 
their own Y.C.L. nuclei, and it works for the or- 
ganization of special youth sections of local trade 
unions to deal with particular youth problems and 
to develop the necessary special activities involved 
in the organization of the youth. 

The Party makes special demands for women 
workers, including equal pay with men, special pro- 
tection in industry, maternity insurance, etc., and 
it incorporates them in its immediate program in 
given struggles. For the ex-service men it de- 
mands the full payment of the bonus ; for those now 
in the army and navy service better wages, food, 
housing, etc. It demands the repeal of the 18th 
Amendment and the Volstead Act. 

In short, in every phase of life where capitalist 
exploitation and persecution bear down upon the 
masses, the Communist party comes forward with 
partial demands corresponding to the most imme- 
diate needs of these masses. But in so doing, it 


does not fail to point out that the final solution of 
their intolerable situation can be achieved only by 
the overthrow of the capitalist system and the es- 
tablishment of a Workers' and Farmers' gov- 

A Program of Class Struggle 

THE COMMUNIST PARTY bases its activities upon 
the principles of the class struggle, both with re- 
gard to its every-day struggles and its ultimate 
revolutionary goal. It relentlessly fights against 
the policy of class collaboration practiced by the 
Socialist party and the A.F. of L. leaders. World- 
wide experience has fully demonstrated the fact 
that the workers cannot go along with the bosses 
as "friendly partners." The capitalists and the 
workers are class enemies, with mutually hostile in- 
terests. The exploiters and the exploited are natu- 
ral political foes. The relations between them 
depend upon the question of power. The workers 
can get from the employers only what they have 
the power to take. The A.F. of L. theory (which 
corresponds to the Socialist party practice) of the 
"harmony of interest between capital and labor" 
is the theory of the surrender of the working class 
to the bourgeoisie. 

Communist action is based upon the slogan of 
"Class Against Class"; that is, the working class 
against the capitalist class. This slogan expresses 


the elementary fighting policy of the revolutionary 
movement. In applying it, the Communist party 
actively promotes the mass organization of the 
workers, regardless of political opinion, into trade 
unions, unemployed councils, organizations to de- 
fend the rights of Negroes, ex-servicemen's 
leagues, labor defense and strike relief bodies, 
leagues of poor farmers, proletarian sports or- 
ganizations, labor fraternal insurance societies, 
organizations to defend the foreign born, societies 
of working class culture, etc., etc. Where no mass 
organizations exist in these fields the Party takes 
the initiative in forming them; where such are al- 
ready in existence and are headed by conservative 
officials, the Party follows the policy of building 
an opposition within them and fighting for the 
revolutionary program and leadership. This is the 
so-called boring-from-within policy. 

The application of the "Class Against Class" 
policy requires the making of united front move- 
ments with workers who, while not prepared to 
accept the whole revolutionary program of the 
Communist party, nevertheless are willing to 
struggle for immediate, partial demands. It also 
means the carrying on of joint struggles with the 
poor farmers and impoverished sections of the city 
petty bourgeoisie. But in all such united front 
movements the aim always is for the workers to 
lead and for the attack to be directed against the 
capitalist class and its government. By the use 


of the united front the fighting ranks of the work- 
ers are extended far beyond the limits of the exist- 
ing revolutionary organizations; the united front 
bridges the gap between the organized and un- 
organized workers and links them up for common 
struggle. United front organs may take a variety 
of forms, such as joint strike committees, shop com- 
mittees, grievance committees, relief committees, 
defense committees, etc., being composed in each 
case of representatives of all the unions, A.F. of L. 
and revolutionary, as well as of the unorganized 
workers in the given situation. The united front is 
organized from the bottom; that is, not with the 
reactionary leaders of the various labor organiza- 
tions, but with the rank and file workers. 

The Communist party bases its work directly 
upon the mills, mines, and factories. Its prin- 
ciple is to make every shop a fortress for Com- 
munism. It follows closely the life of the workers 
in the industries, adapting its immediate program 
of struggle to their needs. It concentrates its 
work upon the heavy industries and those of a war 
character. The Party and the revolutionary 
unions are organized especially for this intense 
shop work. Instead of being based upon terri- 
torial branches, as is the Socialist party, the Com- 
munist party has as its basic unit the shop nucleus ; 
the TUUL unions are based upon the shop branch, 
instead of the craft and general locals of the A.F. 
of L. type. 


In carrying out its class struggle program the 
Communist party practices revolutionary parlia- 
mentarism. It places candidates during elections 
and makes every effort to elect them. It com- 
bines its parliamentary action inside legislative 
bodies with its mass action outside and fights to 
force all possible concessions from the government. 
It utilizes the election campaigns to educate the 
workers and to mobilize them for every phase of 
its program on the economic and political fields. 
It seizes upon these periods of general political dis- 
cussion to confront the reactionary program of the 
capitalists and their Social Fascist agents with 
the revolutionary program of the workers. Where 
the Party elects its candidates to legislative bodies 
they make use of these public forums to expose 
the capitalist character of the government and to 
bring forward the Communist program in its vari- 
ous phases. In all its parliamentary activities the 
Communist party makes it clear to the workers 
that the capitalist democracy is a sham and that 
there must be no illusions about peacefully cap- 
turing the State for the working class. 

The Communist party organizes its struggles 
upon the basis of mass action of the workers. It is 
opposed to individual acts of terror. Such terror- 
ism weakens the workers' struggle by tending to 
substitute individual action for mass action and by 
exposing the movement to the destructive work of 
agents provocateurs. The workers' daily strug- 


gles are to be won and their emancipation finally 
achieved, not by the desperate acts of isolated 
heroes, but by the resolute action of the great 
masses of workers. 

A cornerstone of the Communist class struggle 
policy is a ruthless fight against the Social Fascist 
leaders, especially those of the "left," phrase- 
mongering type. "Class Against Class" implies 
a war to the finish against such elements, who are 
part of the oppressive machinery of the capitalist 
class. They are enemies within the gates of the 
working class and must be treated as such. They 
head the labor movement only in order to behead 
it. They are a menace and an obstacle to all 
struggle by the workers. With their prestige as 
labor leaders, their demagogy is especially demoral- 
izing; with their control of the workers' mass 
organizations, they are able to effectively sabotage 
the struggle. It is idle to try to "convince" the 
Social Fascist leaders or to "force them to fight 
by mass pressure," because they are class enemies 
of the workers. They must be politically ob- 
literated. To accomplish this is a first condition 
for successful working class struggle and it is one 
never lost sight of by the Communist party. 

The Communist party draws a clear line of dis- 
tinction between the organized workers and their 
Social Fascist leaders. It calls upon the workers 
to take the control of their struggles into their 
own hands. The policy of independent leadership 


by the rank and file workers is fundamental in the 
general Communist action strategy. The Party 
promotes the formation of the revolutionary oppo- 
sition in reformist trade unions; it organizes the 
workers to oust their reactionary leaders, to them- 
selves take over the leadership of their strikes and 
other struggles, to break through the cliques of 
gangsters who control the local unions and sup- 
press all trade union democracy, to disregard the 
maze of trade union legalism that has been built 
up by the bureaucracy to prevent the development 
of real struggles. 

In the trade union field the necessity for inde- 
pendent rank and file leadership has led to the 
formation of several independent revolutionary in- 
dustrial unions in the mining, textile, metal, ma- 
rine, needle and other industries. These are 
united in a national center, the Trade Union Unity 
League, formed in 1929 through a reorganization 
of the Trade Union Educational League. The 
old TUEL was made up solely of revolutionary 
opposition groups in the reformist unions; the 
TUUL is composed of both revolutionary opposi- 
tions and industrial unions, with its center of 
gravity in the latter. The formation of the inde- 
pendent revolutionary unions was made impera- 
tive by the systematic sabotage of the struggle 
by the more and more Fascist A.F. of L. leaders 
through open strike-breaking, suppression of 
democracy in the unions, mass expulsions, be- 


trayal of the unorganized, etc. The TUUL is not 
a dual organization in the sense of the I.W.W. 
It does not make war upon the A.F. of L. unions 
as such, but against their reactionary leaders. 
With the A.F. of L. rank and file the TUUL 
makes united fronts and conducts joint strike 
struggles. It organizes and supports the work of 
the A.F. of L. opposition movements. The TUUL 
revolutionary unions concentrate their attention 
upon the great masses of unorganized who make 
up about five-sixths of the working class, build- 
ing separate organizations where the fighting spirit 
of the workers, lack of mass A.F. of L. unions, 
etc., make this course the most practical one in 
defense of their interests. The TUUL is the 
American section of the Red International of 
Labor Unions. It is made up of workers of all 
political opinions. Its relations towards the Com- 
munist party are those of mutual support and co- 
operation in the struggle, without organizational 

The Communist party of the United States, in 
line with its program of class struggle, unites with 
the revolutionary workers of the world. It is the 
American section of the Communist International. 
The Communist International carries out a united 
revolutionary policy on a world scale, with the nec- 
essary adaptations for the special conditions in the 
various countries. The Communist International 
is a disciplined world party; only such a party can 


defeat world imperialism. Its leading party, by 
virtue of its great revolutionary experience, is the 
Russian Communist party. In its general work 
it applies the principles of democratic centralism, 
even as its affiliated parties do in their respective 
countries. That is, the policies of the Interna- 
tional are worked out jointly with the several 
parties and then applied in the usual disciplined 
Communist way. Charges of the Matthew Woll 
brand that these parties "take orders from Mos- 
cow" are ridiculous. The united world revolu- 
tionary policy of the Communist International 
differs fundamentally from that of the Socialist 
Second International, whose autonomous sections 
follow the policies of their respective national 

It is only with the foregoing Communist prin- 
ciples and program of class struggle that the work- 
ers can defeat the efforts of the capitalists to find 
a way out of the crisis through more unemploy- 
ment, wage-cuts, and mass starvation, more Fascist 
terrorism and the unleashing of devastating war. 
Under the leadership of the Communist party and 
following out its class struggle policy, the workers 
can defend their interests here and now and they 
will ultimately traverse fully the revolutionary way 
out of the crisis by overthrowing capitalism and 
establishing a Soviet system. 


The American Workers and the Revolution 

THE CAPITALISTS and their henchmen in this coun- 
try are very certain of the innate conservatism of the 
American working class. They confidently assure 
themselves that, no matter what may happen in 
other countries, the toiling masses here will have 
nothing to do with Socialism. And, on the surface 
of things, the workers of the United States are the 
most conservative of any great industrial country. 
This is primarily because, living in the land of the 
most powerful and rapidly rising imperialism, their 
standards of living have been somewhat higher than 
those in other countries. Besides, their class con- 
sciousness has been greatly hindered by the so- 
called democratic traditions in the United States, 
harking back to the days of free land. There has 
also been a retarding influence in the lack of homo- 
geneity among the workers many races, many 
nationalities, many traditions. All of which fac- 
tors capitalism has thoroughly understood how to 
exploit in the unparalleled flood of propaganda 
that it has poured into the workers through the 
countless newspapers, schools, churches, labor 
leaders, politicians, radios, motion pictures, etc. 

But this conservatism is more apparent than 
real; it is merely a surface and temporary indica- 
tion. It is only a few years since the capitalists 
of Great Britain and Germany also boasted about 
the conservatism of their workers. They could do 


this because both of these countries were on a rising 
curve of imperialist development. It was possible 
at least for the masses of their workers to live. 
Illusions about the possibilities of capitalist de- 
velopment flourished among them. But now how 
changed is the situation. In Germany the workers 
are rapidly becoming revolutionized and in Great 
Britain they are traveling the same road, if at a 
somewhat slower tempo. This revolutionizatiqn 
of the workers develops because Germany and 
Great Britain have been caught deeply in the 
maelstrom of the general capitalist crisis: Ger- 
many, crushed by its imperialist rivals, approaches 
a revolutionary upheaval; Great Britain, ousted 
from its position as world industrial leader, slips 
deeper and deeper into chronic crisis. The erst- 
while "conservative" workers of these countries, 
now facing mass starvation, are beginning to see 
the logic of the situation and are gradually pre- 
paring themselves for the fight to overthrow capi- 
talism and to establish Socialism. 

The American workers inevitably must go in the 
same direction and for the same reasons, although, 
for the causes above-mentioned, their pace is as yet 
much slower. A sure radicalization is being 
brought about by 30 to 40 cents a day wages for 
Kentucky miners, 8 $3.50 wages for a 70-hour week 
for Southern textile workers, 9 and similar condi- 

s Theodore Dreiser, Harlan Miners Speak. 
9 American Federationist, Mar., 1932. 


tions in the other industries. Starvation wages are 
destroying the capitalistic illusions of American 
workers and 25 cent wheat is making the poor 
farmers their allies. Especially are the hunger 
policies of the Hoover government in the unem- 
ployment question a potent factor in the growing 
radicalization. The time will come when the capi- 
talists of this country will realize that one of the 
greatest mistakes ever made by a ruling class was 
that of forcing the millions of unemployed to go 
without the necessaries of life while the warehouses 
were bursting with riches. 

Under the pressure of the deepening crisis the 
workers are throwing off their conservatism with 
a speed and decisiveness that will soon startle 
the ruling class. The British bourgeoisie were 
astounded at the recent sudden and significant 
mass upheavals in St. Johns and Auckland. In 
Chapter I we have pointed out some of the signs 
of the new radicalization. But doubtless the proc- 
ess has gone faster and farther than the open signs 
indicate and than even the closest observers realize. 
The radicalization is largely hidden because the 
American working class, almost completely un- 
organized industrially and politically, shamefully 
betrayed by the trade union leaders and terrorized 
in the industries, has great obstacles in the way of 
expressing its discontent. It has to be of an ex- 
plosive character before it appears upon the sur- 
face. The pressure now rises dangerously. 


The capitalists are congratulating themselves 
upon the lack of great mass struggles of the work- 
ers against the wholesale reductions in their living 
standards during the present crisis. The Wall 
Street Journal, (Jan. 5, 1932), states: "It is doubt- 
ful whether so rapid and extensive a deflation of 
the wage earner's income has ever before taken 
place in the United States, with so nearly a total 
absence of open conflict between masters and 
men. . . It seems a far cry back to the Homestead 
riots of 1892, to the Pullman and railroad strikes 
of 2 years later, or even to the Colorado mine dis- 
orders of 1914." Bourgeois economists and writ- 
ers ascribe the dearth of big strikes to a lack of 
militancy on the part of the workers, and charac- 
teristically, the Socialist, Norman Thomas, agrees 
with them by giving as the reason "the docility of 
labor." 10 

The fallacy of this argumentation is readily ap- 
parent. At the door of the American Federation 
of Labor lies the chief responsibility for the failure 
of the working class to develop greater mass resist- 
ance against the huge lowering of their living 
standards. Had this organization, with its 2,500,- 
000 members and its standing as the traditional 
labor movement, issued a call to strike against 
wage-cuts and to fight for unemployment insur- 
ance undoubtedly many big strikes and unemploy- 
ment demonstrations would have occurred. But 

10 As I See It, p. 166. 


the A.F. of L., on the contrary, has used all its 
power and prestige to prevent struggle. Repeat- 
ing the arguments of the bosses, it has unresistingly 
accepted wage-cuts and the unemployment hunger 
program of the government. Besides, it has un- 
hesitatingly used strike-breaking methods (among 
the worst of which were the fake strikes, or lock- 
outs in the Socialist-controlled needle trades) to 
defeat the workers who tried to beat the wage-cuts 
by struggle. This deadening influence of the A.F. 
of L. extended far beyond the ranks of its organ- 
ization into the unorganized industries. The A.F. 
of L. leadership has been the principal instrument 
of the bosses to force the workers to accept lower 
conditions of living. All of which goes to show 
the great value of this leadership to the employers 
and to explain their systematic support of it. 

The intensification of the crisis will inevitably 
bring with it a sharpening and broadening of the 
class struggle, despite all efforts of the bosses, the 
government and the A.F. of L.-S.P. leadership 
to check it. Consider the meaning of the Ford 
Hunger March, in which four workers were killed 
and many wounded by the police; just a few years 
ago the workers in the Ford plant were rated the 
best off in the world. Now they find themselves 
starving and ruthlessly shot down when they de- 
mand relief. Their answer is a violent mass re- 
sentment and a rapid building of the Communist 


party, the Unemployed Councils and the revolu- 
tionary Automobile Workers' Union. 

Or take the case of the Kentucky miners : facing 
starvation wages, murderous terrorism by com- 
pany gunmen and police thugs, wholesale arrest 
and railroading of militant workers, flagrant be- 
trayal by the U.M.W. of A., they turned to the 
Communist party and the National Miners Union 
for leadership. These miners, almost without ex- 
ception, are American-born. They and their for- 
bears for generations back are of the old pioneer 
stock. They are intensely patriotic and religious; 
race prejudice against the Negro has been culti- 
vated amongst them from their earliest childhood. 
The coal operators, realizing these facts and 
believing that they made the miners immune to 
revolutionary leadership regardless of their griev- 
ances, met the advance of the National Miners 
Union into the Kentucky-Tennessee coal regions 
with a franti2 appeal to the prejudices of the 
miners. They made it appear that the developing 
strike was an attempt to overthrow the government, 
that it meant wiping out religion and the estab- 
lishment of Negro domination. But the miners 
stood firm in the face of this unprecedented "red 
hysteria"; the strike went on despite all the 
demagogy and terrorism. Communism has es- 
tablished itself firmly among the American miners 
of the Kentucky and Tennessee coal fields. 

Which way the farmers will go may be gathered 


from the report of Professors Hutchinson and 
Holt on conditions in Michigan: "Then there are 
the farmers now talking the language of revolt. 
Their backs are against the wall and it will take 
only a few dramatic mortgage sales of lands held 
by families for two generations to start the fire- 
works. For them the passing of the American 
farmer to peasantry will not happen without a 
struggle in the spirit of 1776." 

It is an illusion to think that the conservative 
American workers must first pass through the 
stage of social reformism before they will accept 
the Communist program. Doubtless, large num- 
bers of them will fall victims to social reformism, 
hence, the great danger of the Socialist party and 
the A.F. of L. leadership. But experience already 
amply demonstrates that the Communist party, 
with its program of partial demands and united 
front policy, coupled with its ultimate revolution- 
ary objectives, can and does successfully mobilize 
masses of these workers just breaking from the in- 
fluence of the two old parties. 

Dearborn, Kentucky, England (Ark.), Law- 
rence, Pittsburgh coal strike, etc., reflect the new 
spirit of the American class struggle. The capi- 
talists, in the midst of the sharpening general 
crisis of capitalism, are determined to force the 
living standards of American toilers down to Euro- 
pean levels, or lower. The workers will respond 
to this offensive by increasing class consciousness 


and mass struggle. More and more they will turn 
to the Communist party for leadership, and even- 
tually they will be joined by decisive masses of 
the ever-more ruthlessly exploited poor farmers. 
The toiling masses of the United States will not 
submit to the capitalist way out of the crisis, which 
means still deeper poverty and misery, but will 
take the revolutionary way out to Socialism. The 
working class of this country will tread the path 
of the workers of the world, to the overthrow of 
capitalism and the establishment of a Soviet gov- 
ernment. Lenin was profoundly correct when he 
said in his Letter to American Workingmen, of 
Aug. 20, 1918: 

"The American working class will not follow the lead 
of its bourgeoisie. It will go with us against its bour- 
geoisie. The whole history of the American people gives 
me this confidence, this conviction." 



THE MARXIAN principle holds true that the pre- 
vailing mode of production and exchange deter- 
mines the character of the general organization in 
a given society. Thus the pioneer British capitalist 
society, based upon the private ownership of indus- 
try and the exploitation of the workers, forecast the 
type which, with only minor variations, came later 
to be developed by the whole capitalist world. Its 
parliamentary democracy, rampant patriotism, 
robot-like education of the masses, reformist trade 
unionism, etc., fitted naturally into the capitalist 
scheme of things everywhere. 

By the same principle, the Soviet Union now 
forecasts the general outlines of the new social 
order that the world is approaching. The Soviet 
system was not an invention. Its basic institutions 
arose naturally from the economic and political 
necessities of workers and peasants freeing them- 
selves from capitalist exploitation. Thus, for the 
United States as well as other countries, the Soviet 
Union is a plain indicator of the society that is to 



be, taking into account minor variations for special 
conditions in the several lands. It foreshadows the 
broad lines along which the future Soviet America 
will develop. Here our task is not to work out 
all the details of an American Soviet system, as 
that would exceed the scope of this book, but to 
trace out, upon the basis of actual experience to 
date, the general structure and workings of such 
a regime. 

From capitalism to Communism, through the 
intermediary stage of Socialism; that is the way 
American society, like society in general, is headed. 
It represents the main line of march of the human 
race to the next higher social stage in its historical 
advance. It is the trend to which all the economic, 
political and social forces of today are contributing. 

The American revolution, when the workers have 
finally seized power, will develop even more swiftly 
in all its phases than has the Russian revolution. 
This is because in the United States objective con- 
ditions are more ripe for revolution than they were 
in old Russia. In his work, Imperialism., Lenin 
states : 

"Capitalism, in its imperialist phase, arrives at the 
threshold of the complete socialization of production. 
To some extent it causes the capitalists, whether they 
like it or no, to enter a new social order, which marks 
the transition from free competition to the socialization 
of production. Production becomes social, but appro- 


priation remains private. The social means of produc- 
tion remain the private property of a few." 

This means that in such a highly-industrialized 
country as the United States the industrial base for 
Socialism is already at hand. The great problem 
before the workers is to get the political power. 
The Russian workers, however, not only had to 
conquer power but also to build a great industrial 
system. At the Eighth Congress of Soviets, in 
1920, Lenin declared that, "Communism is the 
Soviet power plus the electrification of the coun- 
try." In the United States, the problem of the 
American working class in achieving Socialism 
may be summed up, as Browder has put it, as 
the present American industrial technique plus 

Besides this more favorable industrial base, 
American workers, once in control, will have other 
advantages which will greatly speed the tempo of 
revolutionary development. These are, first, the 
vast experience accumulated in the Russian revolu- 
tion, and, second, the practical assistance of the 
Soviet governments existing at the time of the 
American revolution. These are enormous ad- 
vantages. As for the Russian workers, they were 
pioneers blazing the revolutionary trail. They had 
to work out for themselves a maze of unique 
problems and to struggle against a whole hostile 
capitalist world. The sum of all which is that the 
period of transition from capitalism to Socialism 


in the United Soviet States will be much shorter 
and easier than in the U.S.S.R. 

The American Soviet Government 

WHEN the American working class actively enters 
the revolutionary path of abolishing capitalism it 
will orientate upon the building of Soviets, not 
upon the adaptation of the existing capitalist gov- 
ernment. Capitalist governments have nothing in 
common with proletarian governments. They are 
especially constructed throughout to maintain the 
rulership of the bourgeoisie. In the revolutionary 
struggle they are smashed and Soviet governments 
established, built according to the requirements of 
the toiling masses. 

The building of Soviets is begun not after the 
revolution but before. When the eventual revolu- 
tionary crisis becomes acute the workers begin the 
establishment of Soviets. The Soviets are not only 
the foundation of the future Workers' State, but 
also the main instruments to mobilize the masses 
for revolutionary struggle. The decisions of the 
Soviets are enforced by the armed Red Guard of 
the workers and peasants and by the direct seizure 
of the industry through factory committees. A 
revolutionary American working class will follow 
this general course, which is the way of proletarian 

The American Soviet government will be or- 


ganized along the broad lines of the Russian 
Soviets. Local Soviets, the base of the whole 
Soviet State, will be established in all cities, towns 
and villages. Local Soviets combine in themselves 
the legislative, executive and judicial functions. 
Representation, based on occupation instead of 
residence and property, comes directly from the 
shops, mines, farms, schools, workers' organiza- 
tions, army, navy, etc. The principle of recall of 
representatives applies throughout. Citizenship 
is restricted to those who do useful work, capital- 
ists, landlords, clericals and other non-producers 
being disfranchised. 

The local Soviets will be combined by direct rep- 
resentation into county, state, and national Soviets. 
The national Soviet government, with its capital in 
Chicago or some other great industrial center, will 
consist of a Soviet Congress, made up of local dele- 
gates and meeting annually, or as often as need 
be, to work out the general policies of the govern- 
ment. Between its meetings the government will 
be carried on by a broad Central Executive Com- 
mittee, meeting every few months. This C.E.C. 
will elect a small Presidium and a Council of 
Commissars, made up of the heads of the various 
government departments, who will carry on the 
day-to-day work. 

The American Soviet government will join with 
the other Soviet governments in a world Soviet 
Union. There will also be, very probably, some 


form of continental union. The American revolu- 
tion will doubtless carry with it all those countries 
of the three Americas that have not previously 
accomplished the revolution. 

The Soviet court system will be simple, speedy 
and direct. The judges, chosen by the corre- 
sponding Soviets, will be responsible to them. 
The Supreme Court, instead of being dictatorial 
and virtually legislative, as in the United States, 
will be purely juridical and entirely under the con- 
trol of the C.E.C. The civil and criminal codes 
will be simplified, the aim being to proceed directly 
and quickly to a correct decision. In the acute 
stages of the revolutionary struggle special courts 
to fight the counter-revolution will probably be 
necessary. The pest of lawyers will be abolished. 
The courts will be class-courts, definitely warring 
against the class enemies of the toilers. They will 
make no hypocrisy like capitalist courts, which, 
while pretending to deal out equal justice to all 
classes, in reality are instruments of the capitalist 
State for the repression and exploitation of the 
toiling masses. 

The American Soviet government will be the 
dictatorship of the proletariat. In Chapter II we 
explained this dictatorship as the revolutionary 
government of the workers and toiling farmers. 
In the proletarian dictatorship the working class is 
the leader by virtue of its revolutionary program, 
superior organization and greater numbers. To- 


wards the farmers, the attitude of the government 
will vary from an open alliance with the poor farm- 
ers and cooperation with the middle farmers, to 
open hostility against the big, exploiting land- 
owners. Towards the city intelligentsia and petty 
bourgeoisie generally, its attitude will be one of 
friendliness and cooperation, insofar as these ele- 
ments break with the old order and support the 
new. The new Workers' government, as part of 
its task of building Socialism, necessarily will have 
to hold firmly in check the counter-revolutionary 
elements who seek to overthrow or sabotage the 
new regime. To suppose that the powerful 
American capitalist class and its vast numbers of 
hangers-on will tamely submit to the loss of their 
power to the workers would be to ignore the whole 
history of that class. The mildness or severity of 
the repressive measures used by the workers to liq- 
uidate this class politically will depend directly 
upon the character of the latter's resistance. 
While the whole trend of the revolutionary work- 
ers is against violence, they always have an iron 
fist for counter-revolution. 

In order to defeat the class enemies of the revo- 
lution, the counter-revolutionary intrigues within 
the United States and the attacks of foreign capi- 
talist countries from without, the proletarian dic- 
tatorship must be supported by the organized 
armed might of the workers, soldiers, local militia, 
etc. In the early stages of the revolution, even 


before the seizure of power, the workers will or- 
ganize the Red Guard. Later on this loosely con- 
structed body becomes developed into a firmly-knit, 
well-disciplined Red Army. 

The leader of the revolution in all its stages is 
the Communist party. With its main base among 
the industrial workers, the Party makes a bloc with 
the revolutionary farmers and impoverished city 
petty bourgeoisie, drawing under its general lead- 
ership such revolutionary groups and organizations 
as these classes may have. Under the dictatorship 
all the capitalist parties Republican, Democratic, 
Progressive, Socialist, etc. will be liquidated, the 
Communist party functioning alone as the Party 
of the toiling masses. Likewise, will be dissolved 
all other organizations that are political props of 
the bourgeois rule, including chambers of com- 
merce, employers' associations, rotary clubs, 
American Legion, Y.M.C.A., and such fraternal 
orders as the Masons, Odd Fellows, Elks, Knights 
of Columbus, etc. 

A Soviet government will provide the workers 
and poor farmers with the political instrument nec- 
essary to defend their interests. The whole pur- 
pose of such a government will be to advance the 
welfare of those who do useful work. This is not 
the case with the present government of the United 
States. It is dominated by the Morgans, Mellons 
and other big bankers and industrialists. Its func- 
tion is to protect the interests of the capitalist 


class in first line finance capital at the ex- 
pense of the working masses. Every piece of 
legislation, every strike, every demonstration of 
the unemployed illustrates this afresh. In no 
matter what field, wherever the interests of the 
workers are involved, they find the powers of the 
government arrayed against them. The Ameri- 
can government is as much the property of the 
capitalists as their mills, mines, factories and land. 
Only a Soviet government can and will represent 
the will of the workers. 

The establishment of an American Soviet gov- 
ernment will mark the birth of real democracy in 
the United States. For the first time the toilers 
will be free, with industry and the government in 
their own hands. Now they are enslaved: the 
industries and the government are the property of 
the ruling class. The right to vote and all the cur- 
rent talk about democracy are only so many screens 
to hide the capitalist autocracy and to make it more 
palatable to the masses. Consider the economic 
and political gulf between the Southern textile 
workers slaving for $5 a week and the rich South- 
ern capitalists; between the hungry unemployed 
workers in the Northern cities and the fat capital- 
ist parasite masters lolling the Winters through at 
Palm Beach; between the semi-slave Negroes in 
the South and their exploiters; between the out- 
rageous treatment visited upon Mooney and Bill- 
ings, Sacco and Vanzetti and many other class war 


prisoners and the protection given to the Falls, 
Daughertys and the whole clique of capitalist rob- 
bers of the poor then one gets the true measure 
of the American capitalist "democracy" and "free- 
dom." Ambassador Gerard blurted out the truth 
that the American government is a capitalist dic- 
tatorship when he declared that 59 bankers and 
captains of industry are the real rulers of the 
United States. 

The Expropriation of the Expropriators 

"The victorious proletariat utilizes the conquest of 
power as a lever of economic revolution, i.e., the revolu- 
tionary transformation of the property relations of capi- 
talism into relations of the Socialist mode of production. 
The starting point of this great economic revolution is 
the expropriation of the landlords and capitalists, i.e., 
the conversion of the monopolistic property of the bour- 
geoisie into the property of the proletarian State." * 

After providing for the emergency defense and 
provisioning requirements, the first steps of an 
American Workers' and Farmers' government, 
which is the dictatorship of the proletariat, will be 
directed towards the revolutionary nationalization 
or socialization of the large privately-owned and 
State capitalist undertakings. 

In industry, transport and communication this 
will mean the immediate taking over by the State 
of all large factories, mines and power plants, 

i Program of the Communist International. 


together with all municipal and State industries; 
the whole transport services of railroads, water- 
ways, airways, electric car lines, hus lines, etc. ; the 
entire communication organization, including tele- 
graphs, telephones, post office, radio, etc. 

In agriculture it will involve the early confisca- 
tion of the large landed estates in town and 
country, including church property, together with 
their buildings, factories, live stock, etc., and also 
the whole body of forests, mineral deposits, lakes, 
rivers, etc. 

In finance it will mean the nationalization of the 
banking system and its concentration around a 
central State bank; the taking over of the depart- 
ment stores, chain stores, and other large wholesale 
and retail trading organizations; the setting up 
of a State monopoly of foreign trade; the cancel- 
lation of all government debts, reparations, war 
loans, etc., to the big foreign and home capitalists. 

The socialization program will be carried 
through on the basis of confiscation without re- 
muneration, except for special consideration to 
small investors. Such a program naturally evokes 
loud protest from capitalists and the defenders of 
private property, especially the Social Fascists. 
The latter's idea, again expressed by Norman 
Thomas in his book, America's Way Out, is for 
the workers to buy the industries and land from 
their capitalist owners. Thomas even proposes the 
absurd plan that, through holding companies, the 


workers can secure control with a minority of the 

Such Social Fascist proposals have nothing in 
common with Socialism. They represent a defi- 
nite support of the capitalist class and the land- 
lords in their claims for the right to exploit the 
workers; they seek to conserve the dominant 
position of these classes in a new form, State 
capitalism. The workers will never buy out the 
capitalists, nor could they if they would. There 
is no warrant in common-sense or historical prece- 
dent for the workers to buy the industries and natu- 
ral resources from the present ruling class. In 
confiscating this property of the big landlords and 
capitalists, the workers and poor farmers will sim- 
ply be taking back that which has been ruthlessly 
stolen from them. This lesson of expropriation 
without compensation by a revolutionary class has 
been amply taught in the British, French, Russian 
and many other revolutions. The revolutionary 
American colonists did not compensate the British 
landlords; the Northern capitalists did not pay 
the Southern planters when they transformed the 
Negro chattel slaves into wage slaves; and the 
working class will follow the same course of revo- 
lutionary confiscation. 

The socialization of the key sections of industry, 
commerce, agriculture and finance will lay a solid 
economic foundation for the building of Socialism. 
Doubtless, private property will survive in small 


farms, in petty industry and in trade. But this 
will be only temporary. With the consolidation 
and growth of Socialism and the general spread of 
well-being all the land will eventually and without 
serious difficulty be nationalized, and all industry 
will be concentrated into the Socialist Soviet 

The Improvement of the Toilers* Conditions 

THE CENTRAL purpose of the revolution is to con- 
quer political power for the workers and to 
fundamentally improve the economic and social 
conditions of the producing masses. Immediately 
an American Soviet government is established, the 
shut-down factories will be opened. Production 
will be started to relieve the impoverished work- 
ers and farmers. The great stores of necessities, 
now piled up and unsaleable, will be released to 
the masses. The unemployed will be fed, housed 
and given work. Pending any delay in putting the 
industries into full operation, the unemployed will 
be paid social insurance on the basis of full wages. 
The general policy of the Soviet government will 
be to at once put into effect at least the immediate 
demands that the workers are now demanding of 
capitalism, and which we have discussed in the pre- 
vious chapter. Wages will be sharply raised, espe- 
cially for the lower-paid categories ; then there will 
be established the 7-hour day or, very probably, 


less, with a correspondingly still shorter workday 
for young workers and those engaged in dangerous 
occupations; there will also be the development of 
the system of social insurance against unemploy- 
ment, old age, sickness, accidents, etc., on a full 
wage basis; the abolition of the many discrimina- 
tions against Negroes, women, and young workers 
in industry; the establishment of free medical 
services, vacations for workers, etc. 

The Soviet government will initiate at once a 
vast housing program. All houses and other 
buildings will be socialized. The great hotels, 
apartments, city palaces, country homes, country 
clubs, etc., of the rich will be taken over and utilized 
by the workers for dwellings, rest homes, chil- 
dren's clubs, sanatoria, etc. The best of the sky- 
scrapers, emptied of their thousand and one brands 
of parasites, will be used to house the new 
government institutions, the trade unions, coopera- 
tives, Communist party, etc. The fleets of auto- 
mobiles and steam yachts of the rich will be placed 
at the disposition of the workers' organizations. A 
great drive will be made to demolish the present 
collection of miserable shacks and tenements and 
build homes fit for the workers to live in. 

The Soviet government will immediately free the 
poor farmers from the onerous burdens of mort- 
gages and other debts which now hold them in 
slavery. Of the total income of all farmers in 


1927, 17% went for loans and mortgages. 2 Land 
rent will be abolished, both in the form of cash and 
share-crops. The land will be to the users. The 
present monopolistic prices for agricultural ma- 
chinery, fertilizer, etc., will be drastically cut. 
Taxes will be slashed and shifted off the backs of 
the poor farmers. For the millions of "one-horse" 
farmers now living at the verge of starvation in 
many states, more land will be allotted; they will 
also be furnished with the necessary seed, machin- 
ery, fertilizer and expert instruction. Food and 
other necessities of life will be given to those in 
need. Production of foodstuffs will not be cur- 
tailed, but greatly stimulated. 

Such a program is not a matter of mere specula- 
tion. This is the line that developed in the Soviet 
Union and it is the one that will develop here. 
Even in the face of their gigantic tasks, the neces- 
sity to build industry from the ground up in the 
teeth of world capitalist opposition, the Russians, 
as we have seen in Chapter II, have been able 
vastly to improve the conditions of the toilers of 
factory and farm. In the United States, however, 
the revolution, because of the superior industrial 
equipment here, will be able to advance the Amer- 
ican workers' standards of living much more 
quickly and drastically. It will also make it pos- 
sible to lend assistance to the more undeveloped 
countries. It is true that the powerful and ruth- 

2 Recent Economic Changes, Vol. II, p. 784. 


less American capitalist class will seek to prevent 
all this by destroying the industries during the 
revolution, which only emphasizes the need for 
breaking their resistance the sooner. 

The above measures of improvement for the 
workers and farmers will represent only a bare be- 
ginning. Already the material conditions are at 
hand in the United States for an enormous increase 
in the well-being of the masses. The barriers to 
this advancement are the incredible robberies, 
wastes and the general idiocies of the capitalist 
system. The revolution will clear away this mass 
of exploitation, inefficiency and reaction, and will 
open the road for such an industrial development 
and general rise in material and cultural standards 
of the masses as now seems only the stuff of 

The Liquidation of Capitalist Robbery and 

THE REVOLUTION will put a stop to the whole series 
of capitalist leaks, wastes and thieveries which now 
prevent the rise in standards of the masses. It is 
the marvel of the capitalist world how the Soviet 
government, with virtually no foreign credits, 
manages to raise the many billions necessary to 
finance the Five- Year Plan. The explanation is 
to be found in the gigantic economies inherent in 
the Socialist system as against the inefficiencies and 


grafts of capitalism. These economies will be 
much greater in the United Soviet States of 

First of all, the American Soviet government, 
by taking over the ownership of industry and the 
land, will put a sudden stop to the manifold forms 
of robbing the workers and farmers of monster 
masses of value on the basis of private ownership 
of the social means of livelihood. All forms of 
capitalist interest, rent and profit will be abol- 
ished. Capitalists, mortgage holders, landowners 
and coupon clippers perform no useful function in 
society. Their rake-off from industry and the 
land is sheer robbery. This is one of the great les- 
sons of the Russian revolution. They are a deadly 
detriment. The first requirement for further 
social progress is to abolish this class of parasites. 
Veblen states the case very mildly when he says 
that "the capitalist financier has come to be no 
better than an idle wheel in the economic mecha- 
nism, serving only to take up some of the lubri- 
cant." 3 In reality, the capitalists, with their 
program of mass poverty, exploitation and war, are 
a menace to the human race. 

Ending the gigantic robbery which is the very 
base of the capitalist system will at once release 
vast values for useful social ends. How vast may 
be realized from the fact that in 1928 the total 
national income in the United States was approxi- 

s The Price System and the Engineers, P. 66. 


mately 90 billion dollars, of which, it is estimated 
by Varga that no less than 46% was taken by capi- 
talist exploiters in the shape of corporation profits, 
ground rents, interest on mortgages, official sala- 
ries and bonuses, etc. An American Soviet gov- 
ernment, stopping this monstrous expropriation of 
the toilers, will turn these great sums to the im- 
provement of the living and cultural standards of 
the producing masses. 

Secondly, the setting up of a Socialist system 
will greatly increase the productive forces and pro- 
duction itself. By liquidating the contradiction 
between the modes of production and exchange, it 
does away with economic crises, with all their waste 
and loss. Where there is no capitalist class to de- 
mand its profit before production and distribution 
take place, and where the producers as a whole 
receive the full product of their labor, there can 
be no economic over-production and crisis. Con- 
sequently, unemployment, with its terrible misery 
and suffering, will become a thing of the past. 
The many millions who now walk the streets un- 
employed will have fruitful work to do, to the bene- 
fit of all society. With the deadly limitations of 
the capitalist market removed, the road will be 
opened to virtually unlimited expansion of indus- 
try and mass consumption. 

Thirdly, Socialism will result in an enormous 
increase in industrial and agricultural efficiency. 
It is the proud boast of the capitalists, particu- 


larly the Americans, that their system represents 
the acme of economy and efficiency. But this is 
so untrue as to be grotesque. The Socialist sys- 
tem of planned production, based upon social 
ownership of industry and the land, is incompara- 
bly more efficient than the anarchic capitalist sys- 
tem founded upon private property, competition 
and the exploitation of the workers. In his book, 
The Tragedy of Waste, Stuart Chase estimates 
that of the 40,000,000 "gainfully employed" in the 
United States about 20,500,000, or 50%, waste 
their labor totally. Recently Iron Age stated that 
by putting all the industrial plants in the United 
States on the basis of modern technique it would 
be possible to shorten the working day to one-third 
of the present, while at the same time doubling 
the output. Socialism will wipe out these great 
wastes, inherent in the planless, competitive capital- 
ist system. It will liquidate the hundreds of use- 
less and parasitic occupations, such as wholesalers, 
jobbers, and the entire crew of "middlemen," real 
estate sharks, stock brokers, prohibition agents, 
bootleggers, advertising specialists, traveling sales- 
men, lawyers, whole rafts of government bureau- 
crats, police, clericals, and sundry capitalist quacks, 
fakers, and grafters. It will turn to useful social 
purposes the immense values consumed by these 
socially useless elements. 

Socialism will also conserve the natural re- 
sources of the country which are now being ruth- 


lessly wasted in the mad capitalist race for profits. 
Chase points out, among many examples of such 
criminal waste, that by wrong production methods 
16 billion barrels of petroleum have been lost; 
every year 5 billion feet of lumber are likewise 
wasted; and although as yet only 2% of the total 
coal in this country has been mined, 33% of the 
best beds has been gutted. Natural gas and the 
various minerals are being similarly wasted. A 
Soviet government will, of course, put a stop to 
this criminal recklessness and have as one of its 
principal aims the careful conservation of all the 
natural resources. 

Finally, the eventual victory of the workers on 
a world scale will liquidate the monster, War, with 
all its agonies and social losses. The ghastly bill 
of the World War comprised, in terms of human 
life, 12,990,000 dead and a total casualty list of 
33,288,000, not counting the thirty millions more 
who died in various countries from famine and 
pestilence as a result of the war. The direct prop- 
erty loss and general financial cost of the war is 
estimated at 340 billion dollars. 

It is along these broad channels that the Amer- 
ican Soviet government will find the means for the 
early and far-reaching improvement of the toilers' 
standards. The abolition of the monumental rob- 
bery of the workers by the capitalists in all its 
myriad forms ; the liquidation of the capitalist eco- 
nomic crisis, with its mass unemployment and 


general crippling of the productive forces ; the de- 
velopment of an industrial efficiency and a volume 
of production now hardly dreamed of; the careful 
conservation of natural resources; the abolition of 
war ; these revolutionary measures will provide 
the material bases for a well-being of the toiling 
masses of field and factory now quite unknown in 
the world. 

The Reorganization of Industry 

AMONG the first tasks of the American Soviet 
government will be the reorganization of the 
chaotic capitalist industries upon Socialist lines. 
To do this the banks will all be centralized in one 
great system. The railroads will be completely 
consolidated; duplicate lines will be eliminated; 
bus, truck, airplane, interurban electric and steam- 
ship lines will be scientifically coordinated with the 
railroads, thereby making a saving of at least 50% 
in transportation efficiency. The scattered units 
of the other industries will be similarly organized, 
with an eventual program of rebuilding industry 
into larger units, regrouping of plants at more 
strategic points, elimination of small and uneco- 
nomic plants, etc. 

The industrial system as a whole will be headed 
by a body analogous to the Supreme Economic 
Council of the U.S.S.R. The S.E.C. is made up 
of a series of "united industries," "trusts," and 


"combines." There is the necessary sub-division 
for the special character of the industry, local con- 
ditions, etc. Each industrial unit, with an estab- 
lished budget and allocated capital and credit, 
operates upon the principles of cost accountancy 
and individual and collective responsibility. The 
whole industrial apparatus production, distri- 
bution, financing while each part retains the 
necessary organization, specialization and initiative 
required for the fulfillment for its particular func- 
tions, constitutes a great industrial machine, each 
cog of which fits into and works harmoniously with 
the rest. 

The superiority of such an organized Socialist 
industry over the present piece-meal and anarchic 
American industrial system is evident at a glance. 
Compare this scientific industrial organization, as 
a coordinated and cooperating whole, with the 
present maze of 206,556 separate American manu- 
facturing concerns, including coal mining 6,000; 
textiles (cotton, wool, silk, rayon) 5,833; metal 
(main branches) 23,000, etc., 4 not to speak of the 
hundreds of thousands of separate retailing, job- 
bing and financing concerns. And all these mul- 
titudinous units are engaged in a dog-eat-dog 
competition with each other, blindly producing and 
throwing their products aimlessly into the markets. 
Socialist industry means system, cooperation, effi- 

* Figures based on U. S. Department of Commerce Census Bul- 
letin, Dec. 31, 1930. 


ciency; capitalist industry means chaos, conflict, 

Naturally, American Socialist industry will be 
operated upon the basis of a planned economy. 
The aim of the whole industrial machine will be to 
achieve the highest possible standards for the pro- 
ducing masses, not the welfare of a few capital- 
ists. Production will be scientifically calculated in 
advance. The needs of the people and the possi- 
bilities of the industries will be carefully studied 
and met. With a thoroughly organized industrial 
system the carrying out of the production plans 
will be easy and natural. A Socialist society 
without a planned economy is unthinkable, even as 
it is unthinkable that a capitalist society should 
work on the basis of scientific planning. 

Under the American Soviet government with 
such an organized industrial system, economic 
crises, clogging of the markets through over-pro- 
duction, cannot take place. The toilers as a whole 
receiving the values they produce and there being 
no parasitic capitalists whose special class interests 
have to be preserved, gains in production will ex- 
press themselves automatically and immediately in 
higher wages, shorter working hours and generally 
improved conditions. In a Soviet America there 
could not possibly exist the present hideous anom- 
aly of millions of workers and their families unem- 
ployed and starving while the markets are glutted 


with commodities and the great industries stand 

The operation of Socialist nationalized industry 
is, of course, not to be compared with government- 
operated industry under capitalism. This is be- 
cause the capitalists, fearing to endanger their 
beloved system of private ownership, always see 
to it that industries operated by their governments 
are thoroughly sabotaged, mismanaged and gen- 
erally discredited. But under Socialism the whole 
interest of the government is to manage the indus- 
tries efficiently and to eliminate bureaucratism, 
and this is done to a degree quite unknown in the 
capitalist world. 

In Socialist society the trade unions play a fun- 
damental role. They are a gigantic factor in the 
Soviet Union. They draw the masses directly into 
the work of Socialist construction, in the building 
of the new society. They attend to the protection 
of the immediate needs of the workers. They con- 
stitute the mass basis for the Soviets. They are 
the great schools for Communism. No important 
activities are embarked upon without their consent 
and cooperation. No labor law can go into effect 
without their endorsement. Their representatives 
occupy key positions in every stage of the eco- 
nomic, political and social organization. Com- 
pared to these great mass bodies, the American 
Federation of Labor, which presumes to sneer at 


the Russian unions, plays an insignificant role in 
the life of the working class. 

The Russian trade unions base their organiza- 
tion directly upon the industries through shop com- 
mittees. Their general structure follows the lines 
of the economic organization of their industries. 
There are 45 national industrial unions in the 
U.S.S.R. They are not State organs, being based 
entirely upon the principles of voluntary member- 

The trade unions look after the formulation and 
enforcement of the whole elaborate body of social 
insurance (unemployment, sickness, old age, ma- 
ternity, accident, etc.). They enforce the gov- 
ernment sanitary and safety regulations. And 
especially they work out the wage scales jointly 
with the government economic organs. This is 
not a matter for strikes and struggles, there being 
no ruling, owning class to contend with; it is a 
question of amicable arrangement upon the scien- 
tific basis of the general returns from industry and 
agriculture, taking into account the needs for the 
further expansion of industry, the upkeep of the 
government, etc. 

In industry the trade unions perform a very 
important part. But they do not of themselves 
actually lead the production, this being the task 
of the government economic organs, with close 
local and national supervision from the Party and 
the unions. The Syndicalist theory that the trade 


unions could directly carry on production is one 
of the many theories that were proven false by 
the actual practice in the Russian revolution. The 
unions, locally and nationally, hold periodic pro- 
duction conferences with the technical heads of the 
industries, hearing reports from them and checking 
up on their work. They have representatives in 
all the higher economic organs, as well as in the 
Soviets proper. The trade unions are the very 
basis of the vast mobilization of the working class 
in the industries for the carrying through of the 
Five- Year Plan. 

The trade unions are also a vital means in the 
education of the masses. They have a great net- 
work of factory schools, newspapers, libraries 
and theatres. They have thousands of rest homes, 
clubs, sanatoria, hospitals, gymnasiums, etc. They 
swell in many directions the great wave of en- 
lightenment, organization and prosperity among 
the toilers. 

In building Socialism in this country the trade 
unions will play essentially the same role as in the 
U.S.S.R. The revolutionary unions of the Trade 
Union Unity League are the nucleus of the even- 
tual great labor organizations of Soviet America. 
Whatever remnants of the present A.F. of L. may 
exist at the time of the revolution will be merged 
into the series of industrial unions based on all- 
inclusive factory committees. The revolutionary 
workers, both before and during the revolutionary 


crisis, will ruthlessly drive from office the reac- 
tionary A.F. of L. leaders as the most servile and 
dangerous of all tools of the bourgeoisie. 

The cooperatives are also a foundation stone in 
the Socialist economic system. The cooperatives 
form the great retail distributing mechanism; they 
are directly connected with the factories, thus cut- 
ting out all useless and parasitic middlemen. En- 
tering into every city and village, they constitute 
a gigantic distributing agency, beside which even 
the biggest American chain stores and mail order 
houses are only small potatoes. The cooperatives 
also play a very important role in production, espe- 
cially in agriculture. The tremendous collective 
farm movement in the U.S.S.R. represents the co- 
operative grown to revolutionary maturity. 

As in the case of the American trade unions, 
the existing cooperatives in this country will have 
to be profoundly reorganized and rebuilt to per- 
form their new tasks. They will be developed 
from the skeleton organizations they are today into 
a gigantic mass movement. This will be one of the 
first and most urgent tasks of a revolutionary 
American government. 

In building Socialist industry the greatest prob- 
lem the workers will have to solve, as the Russian 
experience shows, is to secure mastery over indus- 
trial technique. Although the great industrial 
base will be on hand, despite capitalist efforts to 
destroy it in the revolutionary struggle, there will 


remain the task of giving the industries Socialist 
form and leadership. It will be impossible to take 
over, as is, the capitalist economic organs and per- 
sonnel and start them off running as Socialist 

But in the United States this problem of devel- 
oping the new Socialist forms and cadres will not 
be so acute as in the Soviet Union. This is be- 
cause of the general reasons previously cited: the 
greater ripeness of the objective situation and the 
existence of Soviet countries and a great body of 
revolutionary experience. Inasmuch as American 
industry is much more developed, the workers have 
more skill and experience than the Russians had; 
the trusts and the advanced industrial technique 
will lend themselves more readily to Socialist re- 
organization, and besides there will not be the need 
for such swift industrial expansion as in the 
U.S.S.R. Also the American capitalist engineers 
do not form such an air-tight clique as the Russians 
did and they will not be so strategically situated 
to sabotage the industries; in the existing surplus 
of technicians doubtless large numbers of them, 
suffering from unemployment and generally bad 
conditions, will go along with the revolution and 
they will be given every opportunity to use their 
skill in the industries. Besides, and this is of de- 
cisive importance, the American Soviet govern- 
ment will have at its disposal the vast experience 


of the Russian workers in the building of Socialist 
industry and also, if necessary, actual help from 
their engineers. 

The American Soviet government will immedi- 
ately proceed with the difficult task of creating an 
adequate supply of reliable technicians and mana- 
gers for the industries. The scattered technical in- 
stitutes, trade schools, correspondence schools, etc., 
will be organized, expanded and linked up directly 
with the industries. Technical schools will be es- 
tablished at all factories. Workers and their chil- 
dren will be given the preference in the study of 
industrial technique. 

The Collectivization of Agriculture 

THE SOVIET system provides a scientific method 
of organizing agriculture as well as industry. 
Stalin says: "To create an economic basis of So- 
cialism that means to unite agriculture with 
Socialist industry into a single economy, and to 
place agriculture under the leadership of Social- 
ized industry." Private property, production for 
profit, competition and all the rest of the capital- 
ist chaos and robbery, have no more place on Soviet 
farms than in the factories. An immediate and 
fundamental problem to confront the American 
Soviet government, therefore, will be to carry 
through the Socialist collectivization of the land. 


This, for the poor and middle farmers, will be done 
upon a voluntary basis. 

In the agrarian question the experience in the 
Soviet Union is of the most fundamental impor- 
tance. In their vast movement of collectivization, 
described in Chapter II, the Russians have devel- 
oped several forms of farm organization. Chief 
among these are the "kolkoz," or artel, with land, 
draft animals and implements pooled and the joint 
returns distributed upon the basis of the work done, 
and the State farm, ("sovkhoz"), with the land 
farmed directly by the State, (State Farm Trust), 
and the workers paid upon a wage basis. There 
are also the societies for the joint cultivation of 
the land (TSOS), with private property in draft 
animals, crops, etc., and finally, there are the com- 
munes, with common property in tools, horses, 
products and dwellings. In all cases the land is 
owned by the government. The State agriculture 
organization is grouped under the Commissariat of 
Agriculture, and is formed into trusts for various 
crops and geographical divisions of the industry; 
such as Grain Trust, Cotton Trust, Flax Trust, 
Livestock Trust, Hemp Trust, Tea Trust, etc. 
Crops are sold either directly to the government, 
to the cooperatives, or, in a very rapidly lessening 
extent, upon the open local markets. 

All these forms have been widely applied. But 
the most adaptable and basic are the artels and 
the State farms. The State farms are an unqoies- 


tioned success, but it is especially along the lines 
of the artel that the many millions of Russian peas- 
ants are now regrouping themselves. The collec- 
tives and State farms, despite the still existing 
shortage of machinery, etc., have already proved, 
by greatly increased output, their vast advance 
over the old forms of farming. 

The superiority of such an organized agriculture 
over the present unorganized American system is 
evident at a glance. It is like comparing a mod- 
ern automobile with an ox cart. The Russian 
farmers, with their vast farms, are producing crops 
under increasingly scientific conditions and then 
disposing of them to a government which they, to- 
gether with the industrial workers, completely 
control. American farmers, on the other hand, in 
6,300,000 separate units destitute of organization 
except for a few cooperatives and other associa- 
tions largely controlled by the bankers, capitalist 
politicians and rich farmers, are all producing, 
helter-skelter, and then, harassed by capitalist loan 
sharks, industrial trusts, and a hostile government, 
are selling their crops in open competition with 
each other and the whole world. It is no surprise, 
therefore, that while the Russian farmers are blaz- 
ing ahead to progress and prosperity, the Amer- 
ican farmers slump deeper into poverty, stagnation 
and crisis. 

The central policy of the American Soviet gov- 
ernment in agriculture will be to reorganize the 


farming system primarily upon the basis of State 
farms. The position of American agricultural 
technique and the experience in the U.S.S.R. will 
justify such a policy. The great ranches of the 
Far West, the big corporation farms of the Middle 
West, the huge private estates of the millionaires 
in the East all confiscated by the new govern- 
ment will provide immediate bases for many 
such great State farms. These will be vast model 
farms, equipped with the most modern machinery 
and technique. They will raise the level of agri- 
culture production generally to a new and higher 
stage. But, doubtless, the artel type of collective 
farm will also be widely organized. It will be the 
policy of the government to stimulate the collec- 
tivization movement, furnishing the poor farmers 
with the necessary implements, etc. The artel 
form of farm will provide a convenient bridge, 
leading away from individualist, competitive farm- 
ing and towards the State farm. 

Once the political power is in the hands of the 
workers and peasants the collectivization of Amer- 
ican agriculture, the winning of the poorer cate- 
gories of farmers for the building of Socialism, will 
proceed very rapidly. It is true that the American 
farmer on the average has a bigger farm than the 
Russian peasant had and that the private property 
idea is perhaps more deeply ingrained in him, but 
he is, as we have already seen, caught between the 
millstones of capitalist exploitation and is being 


crushed. The vast majority of the farmers will 
have everything to gain from the outset by a So- 
cialized agriculture. Today, despite popular 
notions to the contrary, the average farmer seri- 
ously lacks machinery. The one million American 
tractors, not to speak of other costly machines, 
are now concentrated very largely in the hands of 
the well-to-do and rich farmers. The poor farmer 
also lacks fertilizers and has little or no chance to 
apply modern methods. 

Collectivization under a Soviet system will radi- 
cally change all this. Not only will it furnish the 
farmer with a boundless market for his products, 
but it will also provide him with machinery, fer- 
tilizers, selected seed and general scientific meth- 
ods on a scale entirely unknown even on the 
largest present-day American farms. The mar- 
ginal mountain and rocky farms in the South, New 
England, etc., will be abandoned and the farming 
industry concentrated and intensified in the most 
adaptable sections. The revolutionary collecti- 
vization of the land will effect a profound advance 
in American agriculture and cause a veritable leap 
forward in the living standards of the farmer. 

The Liberation of the Negro 

THE CAPITALIST class not only robs the workers 
as a whole, but it visits special exploitation upon 
those sections of the working class Negroes, 


foreign-born, women, youth, the aged, etc. who, 
for one reason or another, are the least able to de- 
fend themselves in the class struggle. The Amer- 
ican Soviet government will drastically eliminate 
such special discrimination, along with capitalist 
exploitation generally. 

Above all, as we have remarked, it is the Negro 
who is singled out for the bitterest exploitation 
and persecution by the capitalists. His condition 
is comparable only to that of the "untouchables" 
of India and is the most crying outrage of Amer- 
ican capitalism. He is set apart as a pariah, an 
object of contempt and scorn, a victim of the most 
systematic suppression and enslavement to be 
found anywhere in the modern industrial world. 

The purpose of all this tyranny and repression 
is, of course, the most intense robbery of the Negro 
toilers; for the vast majority of Negroes are either 
poor farmers or workers. The Jim-Crow system, 
with all its cultivated snobbery of race, is a device 
of the ruling classes to whip extra profits out of 
the hides of the oppressed Negroes by splitting 
them off from the rest of the toilers. 

The Republican party, boasted friend of the 
Negro, is equally responsible with the Democratic 
party for the maintenance of this criminal outrage. 
Such Negro organizations as the Urban League 
and the National Association for the Advancement 
of Colored People, dominated by the white and 
Negro capitalists and petty bourgeoisie, also have 


this responsibility; they live by cultivating segrega- 
tionalism; they sabotage every real fight for the 
liberation of the Negro. In the case of the f ramed- 
up nine Scottsboro Negro boys, the attorney of 
the N.A.A.C.P. made a purely formal defense, 
practically coinciding with the prosecution. 

As for the American Federation of Labor, its 
record on the Negro question is one of shame and 
treachery; it falls into step with the whole capitalist 
policy by barring Negroes from its unions, by 
blocking their entry into the better-paid jobs, by 
refusing to fight for their burning demands, by cul- 
tivating the insidious white chauvinism. The 
measure of the policy of the A.F. of L. on the 
Negro question is to be seen, for example, in At- 
lanta, where Negroes are not even allowed to en- 
ter the local labor temple. 

The Socialist party, despite all its parade of radi- 
calism and alleged friendship of the Negro, follows 
the same basic Jim-Crow line as the A.F. of L. 
This was clearly shown by Heywood Broun, So- 
cialist leader, when he said: 

"If I were a candidate for high executive office, or 
judiciary office, I would say, even without being cornered, 
that I would not now sanction the efforts to enforce the 
14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the 
United States." 5 

The Communist party, alone of all the political 
parties, fights for the liberation of the Negro, both 

5 New York Telegram, Apr. 28, 1930. 


in the present-day struggle and as an ultimate goal. 
The American Soviet government, immediately it 
takes power, will deal a shattering blow to the 
whole monstrous Jim-Crowism. To destroy it 
ruthlessly will be one of the real joys of the vic- 
torious proletarian revolution. Every remnant of 
slavery will be abolished. In a Soviet system, the 
Negro will have the most complete equality eco- 
nomically, politically, socially. The doors to every 
occupation, to every social activity, will be wide 
open for him. He will have ample land, confis- 
cated from the great white landlords. He will be 
free to do and go as any other citizen, without let 
or hindrance. Attempts to maintain the capitalist 
white chauvinism and ostracism of the Negroes 
will be punished as a serious crime against society. 
Socialism will mean the first real freedom for the 
Negro. He is beginning to realize this, hence his 
mass turning to the Communist party for leader- 
ship, and the consequent deep alarm of the capital- 
ists and big landowners at this growing unity of 
white and black toilers. 

The status of the American Negro is that of an 
oppressed national minority, and only a Soviet sys- 
tem can solve the question of such minorities. 
This it does, in addition to setting up real equality 
in the general political and social life, by establish- 
ing the right of self-determination for national 
minorities in those parts of the country where they 
constitute the bulk of the population. The con- 


stitution of the Soviet Union provides that, "Each 
united republic retains the right of free withdrawal 
from the Union." The Program of the Com- 
munist International declares for: 

"The recognition of the right of all nations, irrespec- 
tive of race, to complete self-determination, that is, 
self-determination inclusive of the right to State separa- 

Accordingly, the right of self-determination will 
apply to Negroes in the American Soviet system. 
In the so-called Black Belt of the South, where the 
Negroes are in the majority, they will have the 
fullest right to govern themselves and also such 
white minorities as may live in this section. The 
same principle will apply to all the colonial and 
semi-colonial peoples now dominated by American 
imperialism in Cuba, the Philippines, Central and 
South America, etc. 

And logically, foreign-born workers, now denied 
the right to vote and ruthlessly deported, will enjoy 
the fullest rights of citizenship. One of the most 
monstrous features of the present attack upon the 
working class is the deportation of tens of thou- 
sands of foreign-born workers by Doak's Depart- 
ment of Labor. These masses of workers, torn 
away from home and families, are sent back to 
countries with which they have lost all touch. 
Doak's deportation campaign, part of the capital- 
ist offensive, is an attempt to terrorize the 


foreign-born workers, to crush every semblance of 
resistance among them, to split them off from the 
American-born workers. The wholesale deporta- 
tion of radical workers and leaders is an attempt 
to illegalize the Communist party and the TUUL. 

The experience with self-determination of na- 
tional minorities in the Soviet Union shows that the 
Russians have solved this problem with the revolu- 
tion. The many national minorities have the right 
of self-determination; they have their own lan- 
guages, their own culture. Yet they all live to- 
gether in the strongest unity under the general 
constitution of the U.S.S.R. Where there is no 
capitalist or feudal exploitation there can be no 
suppression of weaker nationalities. The radical 
liquidation of the "insoluble" Jewish problem in 
the U.S.S.R. testifies to the completeness of the 
Bolshevik cure. Murderous pogroms, a curse of 
old Russia, are now totally eradicated. The Jews 
enjoy absolute equality with all other nationalities. 
The solution of the question of suppressed nation- 
alities, a question which causes untold misery in 
the capitalist world, is one of the greatest achieve- 
ments of the Russian revolution. 

The American Soviet will, of course, abolish all 
restrictions upon racial intermarriage. The argu- 
ments of Ku Klux Klanners and the like that 
Negroes are an inferior race and that "mongrel" 
peoples are less capable, have no justification in 
science and social experience. Those "scientists" 


who endorse such "white supremacy" theories are 
only so many bought-and-paid-f or upholders of the 
prevailing mode of exploitation. The facts are 
that all the big peoples of today are already hope- 
lessly "mongrel" and that wherever Negroes have 
half a chance they demonstrate their intellectual 
equality with the whites. Geographic isolation of 
the early human stock into widely separated groups 
brought about its differentiation into individual 
races ; contact between these various races, bred of 
modern industrialization, is just as irresistibly 
breaking down these racial differences and bring- 
ing about racial amalgamation. The revolution 
will only hasten this process of integration, already 
proceeding throughout the world with increasing 

The Emancipation of Woman 

WHEN woman emerged historically from feudal- 
ism she was burdened with a whole series of cus- 
toms, prejudices and restrictions enslaving her in 
her work, her personal life and her political status. 
Characteristically capitalism, which respects noth- 
ing in its greed for profits, quickly seized upon all 
these handicaps of woman and used them to doubly 
exploit her. This is true of the United States as 
well as other capitalist countries. The so-called 
freedom of the American woman is a myth. 
Either she is a gilded butterfly bourgeois parasite 
or she is an oppressed slave. 


The life of the working class woman and poor 
farmer's wife is one of drudgery and exploitation. 
Capitalism sees in her mainly a breeder of wage 
slaves and soldiers. The boasted American home, 
enslaving the woman through her economic in- 
feriority and her children, makes her dependent 
upon her husband. On all sides she confronts 
medieval sex taboos, assiduously cultivated by the 
church, State and bourgeois moralists. When she 
goes into industry she has to toil for from a third 
to a half less than the male worker; she works at 
a killing pace under unhealthful conditions and she 
is barred from many occupations under the hypo- 
critical and reactionary slogan, "The woman's 
place is in the home"; the A.F. of L. betrays her 
every attempt to organize and to defend her inter- 
ests. Politically, she is practically a zero, having 
little or no opportunity to educate herself or to 
function in an organized manner. Finally, to cap 
the climax of woman's enslavement, capitalism 
maintains in full blast the "oldest profession," 

The proletarian revolution will profoundly 
change all this. The American Soviet government 
will immediately set about liquidating the elaborate 
network of slavery in which woman is enmeshed. 
She will be freed economically, politically and so- 
cially. The U.S.S.R. shows the general lines 
along which the emancipation of woman will also 
proceed in a Soviet America. 


The Russian woman is free economically, and 
this is the foundation of all her freedom. Every 
field of activity is open to her. She is to be found 
even in such occupations as locomotive engineer, 
electrical crane operator, machinist, factory di- 
rector, etc. There are women generals in the Red 
Army, women ambassadors, etc. Two-thirds of 
the medical students are women. In industry the 
women are thoroughly organized in the trade 
unions. They get the same pay as men, and are 
protected by an elaborate system of maternity and 
other social insurance. In politics the women of 
the Soviet Union are a major and militant factor. 

The Russian woman is also free in her sex life. 
When married life becomes unwelcome for a couple 
they are not barbarously compelled to live together. 
Divorce is to be had for the asking by one or both 
parties. The woman's children are recognized as 
legitimate by the State and society, whether born 
in official wedlock or not. The free American 
woman, like her Russian sister, will eventually 
scorn the whole fabric of bourgeois sex hypocrisy 
and prudery. 

In freeing the woman, Socialism liquidates the 
drudgery of housework. So important do Com- 
munists consider this question that the Communist 
International deals with it in its world program. 
In the Soviet Union the attack upon housework 
slavery is delivered from every possible angle. 
Great factory kitchens are being set up to prepare 


hot, well-balanced meals for home consumption by 
the millions; communal kitchens in apartment 
houses are organized widespread. Every device 
to simplify and reduce housework is spread among 
the masses with all possible dispatch. 

To free the woman from the enslavement of the 
perpetual care of her children is also a major ob- 
ject of Socialism. To this end in the Soviet 
Union there is being developed the most elaborate 
system of kindergartens and playgrounds in the 
world in the cities and villages, in the neighbor- 
hoods and around the factories. Of this develop- 
ment, Anna Razamova says: 

"All these institutions for child welfare mean a great 
deal in the life of the working woman. They free her from 
the necessity of spending all her time at home, cleaning, 
cooking and mending. While she is at work she can be 
sure that her child is being well taken care of, and that it 
is supervized by trained nurses and teachers, and gets 
wholesome food at regular hours." 

The free Russian woman is the trail blazer for 
the toiling women of the world. She is beating out 
a path which, ere long, her American sister will 
begin to follow. 

Unshackling the Youth 

A RULING class which did not hesitate to send more 
than twelve million young men to their death in 

6 Russian Women in the Building of Socialism, p. 13. 


the World War to further its greed for wealth and 
power, naturally does not stick at the most ruth- 
less exploitation of the youth at all other times. 
Capitalism, whose great god is profit, poisons so- 
ciety at its source ; it destroys the seed corn of the 
human race, the young. 

The condition of the children of the American 
working class is a damning indictment of capital- 
ism. Recently even President Hoover admitted 
that in the United States, the richest country in 
the world, 6,000,000 children are chronically under- 
nourished. The starved masses of workers, har- 
assed by low wages and unemployment, are unable 
to feed their children properly, and the State cal- 
lously shrugs its shoulders at the problem. Great 
masses of them slave in the industries, while their 
parents go around jobless. The position of the 
workers' children has naturally grown immeasur- 
ably worse during the present industrial crisis. 
The Nation, (Mar. 23, 1932), exposes a typical 
condition when it declares: "5,000 to 10,000 chil- 
dren in Detroit are daily in child bread lines." 
Regarding a recent investigation of conditions 
among continuation school boys in New York, 
Grace Hutchens states: 

"Of 2,700 working boys, less than one in seven was 
found free from physical defects. One-fifth of them 
were under-weight from under-nourishment. Three-fifths 
needed dental care. Defective eyesight, adenoids, unde- 
veloped chest, poor muscle tone, diseased tonsils, anemia, 


heart conditions, and tuberculosis scars were common. 
Most of these difficulties could have been prevented." 

The Labour Research Association says in its 
Bulletin of Nov. 9, 1931 : 

"In Detroit, in a single school in the working class dis- 
trict, 500 children refused to report for classes. Investi- 
gation showed that more than half of them lacked even 
clothes and shoes. In Chicago, children are fainting 
from lack of food and 15,000 are starving. In Cleveland, 
the number of under-nourished children in the elementary 
schools will reach 15,000 before the end of the present 
term. A recent study of 290 typical children in West 
Virginia coal towns by Dr. Ruth Fox of the Fifth Avenue 
Hospital in New York City, showed that in Ward, W. Va., 
their average weight was 12% below the standard." 

The generally disastrous effects of such condi- 
tions may be better imagined than described. 
Capitalism, besides thus feeding, vampire-like upon 
children, no less ruthlessly exploits the youth, who 
are becoming an ever-greater factor in industry. 
It drives their immature bodies at a pace in pro- 
duction which even adult workers cannot endure; 
it forces them to work at lower wages than grown- 
ups; child labor laws are "more honored in the 
breach than in the observance." Special victims in 
this raw exploitation are the Negro youth. 

Such barbarous conditions for the youth are, of 
course, utterly alien to Socialism. Just as in- 
evitably as a profit-seeking, anarchic, socially- 

7 Youth in Industry, p. 14. 


Irresponsible capitalism ruins the young of the 
people, so inevitably, does an ordered and respon- 
sible Socialism take the greatest care of its youth. 
In the very center of the whole Communist 
program stands the systematic protection and de- 
velopment of the children and young workers. 
Even the sharpest enemies of the Soviet Union 
have to admit the truth of this. Not even in the 
darkest days of the civil war, when hunger and 
pestilence were rampant, was the welfare of the 
youth ever lost sight of in the U.S.S.R. They 
always had plenty, although often their parents 
were semi-starved. A bourgeois correspondent, 
Julia Blanshard, says: 

"Youth is one of the first concerns of Soviet Russia. 
You, as an elder, might live on cabbage soup, but your 
children would have meat stews and even sweets. Russia 
looks to the future, not the past. . . The children look 
clean, well-nourished, neatly dressed and alert." 

Under Socialism the care of the children rests 
directly with the parents stories of the national- 
ization of children in the Soviet Union are ri- 
diculous. But the State does not let matters rest 
entirely with the parents. It throws such additional 
safeguards around the children in the schools, kin- 
dergartens, etc., of city and village that none can 
possibly go hungry, be denied medical care or lack 

s New York Telegram, Nov. 8, 1931. 


The Soviet government, the trade unions and 
the Communist Youth League, as well as the Party 
and other organizations, vigilantly protect the 
youth employed in Russian industry. The gen- 
eral conditions they have set up indicate the lines 
of development in the United States. There is no 
industrial child labor. And such driving as exists 
among the millions of young workers in American 
industries is unheard of. The Russian young 
workers work only six hours daily; they are 
shielded from night work and especially danger- 
ous or heavy toil. The Soviet Union is the only 
country in the world where the youth are paid 
equal wage rates with adults for similar work. 
The health and education of the young workers is 
promoted by vast sport and cultural organizations. 
In politics the youth are a real factor, the fran- 
chise being based upon the principle, "Old enough 
to work, old enough to vote." In every walk in 
life the antiquated prejudices that the "elders" 
alone must lead have been broken down and the 
path is clear for the development of full leadership 
on the basis of ability and regardless of age. In 
the United States, as in the U.S.S.R., the Soviet 
system will open up a new world for the youth. 

The Cultural Revolution in the United States 

PRESENT-DAY culture in this country is an instru- 
ment by which the capitalist class consolidates its 


dominant position. The prevailing systems of 
education, morality, ethics, science, art, patriotism, 
religion, etc., are as definitely parts of capitalist 
exploitation as the stock exchange. The schools, 
churches, newspapers, motion pictures, radio, thea- 
tres and various other avenues of publicity and 
mass instruction are the organized propaganda ma- 
chinery of the ruling class. 

The chief aims of bourgeois culture, so far as it 
is directed towards the working class, are to de- 
velop the workers into, (1) slave-like robots who 
will accept uncomplainingly whatever standards of 
life and work the owners of industry see fit to 
grant them; (2) unthinking soldiers who will en- 
thusiastically get themselves killed off in defense 
of their masters' rulership; (3) superstitious dolts 
who will satisfy themselves with a promise of para- 
dise after death as a substitute for a decent life 
here on earth. To these ends the workers are regi- 
mented in the schools, poisoned by the militaristic 
Boy Scouts and C.M.T.C., enmeshed in fascist-like 
sport organizations, herded into the strike-break- 
ing Y.M.C.A., stuffed with endless rot in the news- 
papers and movies, jammed into religious training 
before they are able to think for themselves, etc. 
As for real education, about all the workers get of 
it in school is the minimum of the three R's re- 
quired to enable them to perform the tasks allotted 
them in industry. 

So far as this culture is directed to the bourgeoisie 


and petty bourgeoisie, it results in a mass produc- 
tion of capitalist intellectual robots. The schools 
and colleges, firmly in the grip of finance capital, 
as Upton Sinclair so completely showed in his 
book, The Goose Step, are great manufacto- 
ries of Babbitts. In no country is culture so de- 
based by capitalism as in the United States. 
Essentially a gigantic effort to perpetuate the 
robbery of the workers, it is sterile, hypocritical, 
colorless, lifeless. America's capitalistic writers 
are engaged in trying to convince the working class 
what a glorious thing it is to be a wage slave; her 
artists and poets are busy glorifying Heinz's 
pickles and the advertising pages of The Saturday 
Evening Post; her dramatists and musicians are 
cooking up patriotic slush and idiotic sex stories 
to divert the masses from their troubles and the 
hopeless boredom of capitalist life; her scientists 
are trying to prove the unity of science and re- 
ligion, etc., etc. 

The proletarian revolution in the United States 
will at once make a devastating slash into this maze 
of hypocrisy and intellectual rubbish. Not less 
than in the Soviet Union, it will usher in a pro- 
found cultural revolution. For the first time in 
history the toiling masses will have the opportunity 
to know and enjoy the good things of life. With 
prosperity assured for all, with no slave class to 
stultify intellectually and with no system of ex- 
ploitation to defend, Communist culture will have 


a mass base and will flourish luxuriantly and free. 
It will call forth the artistic and intellectual powers 
of the masses, always hitherto repressed by chattel 
slavery, feudalism and capitalism. Superstition, 
and ignorance will vanish in a realm of science; 
"Culture will become the acquirement of all and 
the class ideologies of the past will give place to 
scientific materialist philosophy." 9 

Among the elementary measures the American 
Soviet government will adopt to further the cul- 
tural revolution are the following; the schools, col- 
leges and universities will be coordinated and 
grouped under the National Department of Edu- 
cation and its state and local branches. The 
studies will be revolutionized, being cleansed of 
religious, patriotic and other features of the bour- 
geois ideology. The students will be taught on 
the basis of Marxian dialectical materialism, inter- 
nationalism and the general ethics of the new So- 
cialist society. Present obsolete methods of 
teaching will be superseded by a scientific 

The churches will remain free to continue their 
services, but their special tax and other privileges 
will be liquidated. Their buildings will revert to 
the State. Religious schools will be abolished and 
organized religious training for minors prohibited. 
Freedom will be established for anti-religious prop- 

9 Program of the Communist International. 


The whole basis and organization of capitalist 
science will be revolutionized. Science will be- 
come materialistic, hence truly scientific; God will 
be banished from the laboratories as well as from 
the schools. Science will be thoroughly organized 
and will work according to plan; instead of the 
present individualistic hit-or-miss scientific dab- 
bling, there will be a great organization of science, 
backed by the full power of the government. This 
organization will make concerted attacks upon the 
central problems, concrete and abstract, that con- 
front science. 

The press, the motion picture, the radio, the 
theatre, will be taken over by the government. 
They will be cleansed of their present trash of sex, 
crime, sensationalism and general babbitry, and 
developed into institutions of real education and 
art; into purveyors of the interesting, dramatic, 
and amusing in life. The press will, through 
workers' correspondents on the Russian lines, be- 
come the actual voice of the people, not simply the 
forum of professional writers. 

The American Soviet government will, of course, 
give the greatest possible stimulus to art in every 
form, seeking to cultivate the latent powers of the 
masses. Painting, sculpture, literature, music 
every form of artistic expression will flourish as 
never before. The great art treasures of the rich 
will be confiscated and assembled in museums for 
the enjoyment and instruction of the toiling masses. 


Cultural societies of all kinds will be developed 

One of the basic concerns of the workers' gov- 
ernment will be, naturally, the conservation of the 
health of the masses. To this end a national De- 
partment of Health will be set up, with the neces- 
sary local and State sub-divisions. A free medical 
service, based upon the most scientific principles, 
will be established. The people will be taught how 
to live correctly. They will be given mass instruc- 
tion in diet, physical culture, etc. A last end will 
be put to capitalist medical quackery and the adul- 
teration of food. 

A main task of the American Soviet government 
will be to make the cities liveable. This will involve 
not only the wholesale destruction of the shacks 
that millions of workers now call homes, but the 
building over of the congested capitalist cities into 
roomy Socialist towns. These will develop towards 
the decentralization of industry and population, the 
breaking down of the differences between city and 
country. There will be no great landed, financial, 
and transportation interests to maintain the mon- 
strous congestion typical of capitalist cities. The 
present "city beautiful" plans of capitalism will 
seem puny and trivial to the future city builders of 

Only a few years ago many of the foregoing 
proposals would have seemed fantastic, merely 
Utopian dreams. But now we can see them grow- 


ing into actuality in the Soviet Union. In making 
the cultural revolution in the United States, the 
workers and farmers, facing the same general prob- 
lems as the Russians, will solve them along similar 

Curing Crime and Criminals 

CAPITALISM, by its very nature, is a prolific breeder 
of crime. It is a system of legalized robbery of 
the working class. The whole process of capitalist 
business is a swindle and an armed hold-up. In 
capitalist society what constitutes crime and what 
does not is a purely arbitrary distinction. The 
capitalists do not recognize any line of demarca- 
tion for themselves. They do whatever they can 
"get away with." The record of every large for- 
tune and big corporation in this country is smeared 
not only with brutal robbery of the workers but 
also statutory crime of every description, from the 
bribery of legislatures to plain murder. Wall 
Street is full of uncaught Kreugers. 

In a society where each grabs what he can at the 
expense of the rest, naturally the government of- 
fers a wide field of corruption. It is a well-known 
fact, emphasized afresh by the Seabury investiga- 
tion in New York, that every city and State in this 
country is controlled by grafting politicians, allied 
with the criminal underworld. The Teapot Dome 
scandal, not to mention numerous others, shows 
that the national government is also permeated with 


this gross corruption. Such corruption is not a 
special condition, but of the very tissue of capi- 

It is not surprising that in a system of society 
where the aim is to get rich by any means, crime of 
every kind should flourish. Faced by low wages 
and other impossible economic conditions on 
the one hand and by the corrupt example of capi- 
talism generally on the other, many naturally take 
to lives of open crime and try to seize at the point 
of a gun what the capitalist "big shots" steal 
through exploiting the workers, by a corner on the 
stock exchange, or by corrupting the government. 
The main difference between their operations is 
primarily one of dimension. Al Capone is an al- 
together legitimate child of American capitalism, 
and it is no accident that he is an object of such 
widespread admiration. 

The American Soviet government will liquidate 
the mounting crime wave which, according to the 
Wickersham committee, costs the government a 
billion dollars yearly. Socialism, by putting an 
end to capitalist exploitation, deals a mortal blow 
at crime of every description. The economic base 
of crime is destroyed. The worker is enabled to 
live and work under the best possible conditions. 
There is no place for human sharks to prey upon 
their fellow men. Not only does the abolition of 
capitalism destroy the basis of the so-called crimes 
against property, but the revolutionized economic 


and social conditions, involving an intelligent moral 
code and effective educational system, also greatly 
diminish the "crimes of passion." 

These facts are already demonstrated in the 
Soviet Union, which is fast becoming a crimeless 
country. While the exigencies of the revolutionary 
struggle against the counter-revolution made it 
necessary, from time to time, to confine a consid- 
erable number of political prisoners, this need is 
now fast passing with the consolidation of the So- 
cialist regime and the liquidation of the last rem- 
nants of the exploiting classes in the Soviet Union. 
Life and property are safer now in the U.S.S.R. 
than in any other country in the world. Crime is 
rapidly sinking into abeyance and this will be more 
and more the case as the new society becomes 

Capitalism blames crime upon the individual, in- 
stead of upon the bad social conditions which 
produce it. Hence its treatment of crime is es- 
sentially one of punishment. But the failure of 
its prisons, with their terrible sex-starvation, graft, 
over-crowding, idleness, stupid discipline, fero- 
ciously long sentences and general brutality, is 
overwhelmingly demonstrated by the rapidly 
mounting numbers of prisoners and the long list 
of terrible prison riots. Capitalist prisons are 
actually schools of crime. Even the standpat 
Wickersham committee had to condemn the atro- 


cious American prison system as brutal, medieval 
and fruitless. 

Socialist criminology, on the other hand, attacks 
the bad social conditions. While the American 
Soviet government will ruthlessly break up the 
underworld gangs that brazenly infest all American 
cities and will also give short shrift to grafting 
politicians, its prison system will be essentially 
educational in character. In the new Russian 
prisons, for example, the prisoners have the right 
to marry and to live with their families; they are 
taught useful trades and are paid full union wages 
for their work; there are no guards or walls or 
bars; the discipline is organized entirely by the 
prisoners themselves. The prisoners are also al- 
lowed freely to visit their friends in other towns. 
The lengths of the terms to be served are deter- 
mined by the prisoners' committees, on the basis 
of the fitness of the given prisoners to resume their 
places in society. The whole terminology of crime, 
criminal, prison, etc., has been abandoned in such 
institutions. Upon release, a prisoner is not only 
able to make his way in society but is welcomed. 
He is eligible to belong to the Communist party. 
It requires very little imagination to see the great 
advantages of this Socialist system over the bar- 
barous prisons of capitalist countries. Congress- 
man W. I. Sirovich, (Dem., N. Y.), said, after a 
recent visit to the Soviet Union, "The Russian 


prison system sets an example that is worthy of 
emulation by any nation in the world." 10 

Prohibition, based upon a criminal alliance be- 
tween capitalists, crooked politicians and gang- 
sters, has bred a growth of criminals such as the 
world has never seen before. And the "best 
minds" of the country stand powerless before the 
problem. The American Soviet government will 
deal with this question by eliminating prohibition, 
by establishing government control of the manu- 
facture and sale of alcoholic liquors; these meas- 
ures to be supported by an energetic campaign 
among the masses against excessive drinking. 

This way of handling the prohibition question is 
working successfully in the Soviet Union. Shortly 
after the October revolution the Soviet government 
prohibited the sale or manufacture of alcoholic 
drinks. But soon bootlegging began, with familiar 
demoralizing consequences: poisonous liquor was 
made, much badly-needed grain was wasted, open 
violation of the law existed on all sides. Then, 
with characteristic vigor and clarity of purpose, 
the government legalized the making and selling 
of intoxicating beverages. At the same time, a big 
campaign was initiated by the government, the 
Party, the trade unions, etc., to educate the work- 
ers against alcoholism. This program is succeed- 
ing; the evils of alcoholism are definitely on the 
decline. Doubtless, the Russians have found the 

10 New York Journal, Dec. 1, 1931. 


real solution of the liquor question. Just as So- 
cialism is abolishing so many other evils, it is also 
rapidly wiping out alcoholism and the mass of 
misery and degradation that accompanies it. 

The Abolition of War 

ONE OF the revolutionary achievements of victori- 
ous world Communism will be the ending of war. 
In Chapter I we have seen the great and growing 
danger of a new world war and also the utter 
futility of all the capitalist peace pacts and dis- 
armament schemes as war preventives. We have 
also seen the economic forces of imperialism be- 
hind the war danger. So long as capitalism lasts 
war must continue to curse the human race. It is 
the historical task of the proletariat to put an end 
to this hoary monster. This it will do by destroy- 
ing the capitalist system and with it the economic 
causes that bring about war. 

It is characteristic of capitalism to justify all 
the robbery and misery and terrors of its system 
by seeking to create the impression that they are 
caused by basic traits in human nature, or even 
by "acts of god." Thus we find current many 
metaphysical and mysterious explanations of the 
present crisis and unemployment. These pre- 
ventable disasters are made to appear almost as 
natural phenomena over which mankind has no 
control, like tornadoes and earthquakes. The 


same general attitude is taken with regard to war. 
War is put forth as arising out of the very nature 
of humanity. Man is pictured as a war-like ani- 
mal, and therefore capitalism escapes responsi- 
bility. War becomes more or less inevitable. 

This is all nonsense, of course. Man is by na- 
ture a gregarious and friendly animal. He does 
not make war because he dislikes others of his own 
species, differing from him in language, religion, 
geographical location, etc. His wars have always 
arisen out of struggles over the very material things 
of wealth and power. This is true, whether he has 
been living in a tribal, slave, feudal or capitalist 
economy, and whether he has obscured the true 
cause of his wars with an intense religious garb or 
with slogans about making the world safe for 
democracy. The cause of modern war is, as we 
have already seen, the imperialistic policies of the 
capitalist nations to rob the colonial peoples, to 
smash back the growing revolutionary movement, 
to crush each other in the world struggle for mar- 
kets, raw materials and territory. In a society 
in which there is no private property in industry 
and land, in which no exploitation of the workers 
takes place and where plenty is produced for all, 
there can be no grounds for war. The interests 
of a Socialist society are fundamentally opposed 
to the murderous and unnatural struggle of inter- 
national war. 

Under capitalism the workers, by militant and 


well- organized struggle, can check the develop- 
ment of war. By the threat of revolution they can, 
for a time, force the capitalists to hold in leash 
their dogs of war. This fear has contributed basi- 
cally to holding the capitalist governments so long 
from making another open armed attack upon the 
Soviet Union. But pressure from the workers can 
only delay the war, not stop it permanently. The 
irresistible and incurable antagonisms of the capi- 
talist countries inevitably force them into war, 
revolution or no revolution. Only the proletarian 
revolution itself can solve these war-breeding con- 
tradictions and put a final end to war. Not Chris- 
tianity but Communism will bring peace on earth. 

A Communist world will be a unified, organized 
world. The economic system will be one great 
organization, based upon the principle of planning 
now dawning in the U.S.S.R. The American 
Soviet government will be an important section in 
this world organization. In such a society there 
will be no tariffs or the many other barriers erected 
by capitalism against a free world interchange of 
goods. The raw material supplies of the world will 
be at the disposition of the peoples of the world. 

Politically, the world will be organized. There 
will be no colonies, no "spheres of influence," no 
hypocritical "open doors." The toilers will then 
have fully realized Marx's famous slogan, "Work- 
ingmen of the World, Unite!" The interests of 
the toiling masses in the various countries will not 


be in conflict, but in harmony with each other. 
Those who speak of "red imperialism" repeat the 
calumnies of capitalism. Once the power of the 
bourgeoisie is broken internationally and its States 
destroyed, the world Soviet Union will develop 
towards a scientific administration of things, as 
Engels describes. There will be no place for the 
present narrow patriotism, the bigoted nationalist 
chauvinism that serves so well the capitalist war- 
makers. Armies and navies, rendered obsolete, 
will be disbanded. Grim war will meet its 

At the meeting of the League of Nations' Pre- 
paratory Commission for Disarmament at Geneva 
in November, 1927, the representatives of the 
Soviet Union presented a proposal for complete 
world disarmament. It was later re-enforced by 
the Soviet Union's proposal for a general economic 
non-aggression pact, by its non-aggression treaties 
with individual governments, and by its generally 
firm peace policy in the face of imperialist provo- 

But, of course, the imperialist capitalist nations 
did not accept the Soviet Union's plan for doing 
away with war. The U.S.S.R. is the only country 
that genuinely struggles for peace; the capitalist 
powers need war in their business. War is not to 
be ended in capitalist peace conferences, but by 
revolutionary struggle of the toiling masses against 
capitalism itself. Hence, inevitably, the capital- 


ists at Geneva ridiculed the Soviet 1927 proposals 
and shortly afterwards adopted as a substitute the 
supremely hypocritical Kellogg Peace Pact, mean- 
while intensifying their own war preparations. 
They have again rejected the Soviet Union's dis- 
armament proposal at the present Geneva con- 
ference. Thereby they expose afresh to the 
workers of the world the fact that they do not want 
peace, but war. It will be only when the workers 
and peasants have finally defeated international 
capitalism and are assembled to re-organize the 
world on a Socialist basis that a proposal for gen- 
eral disarmament will be adopted and carried into 
effect. This event, being irresistibly prepared by 
the deepening capitalist crisis and the growing 
mobilization of the world's toilers under the leader- 
ship of the Communist International, will take 
place sooner than the world bourgeoisie dare think 
and it will be one of the very greatest steps forward 
ever taken by the human race. 

Socialist Incentive 

ONE OF the classical capitalist arguments against 
Socialism is that it would destroy incentive; that 
is, if private property in industry and the right 
to exploit the workers were abolished the urge for 
social progress, and even for day-to-day produc- 
tion, would be killed. 

But the Russian revolution has shattered this 


contention irreparably. The Russian workers and 
peasants are building Socialism with a mass energy 
and enthusiasm quite unparalleled in history. 
Manifestly, they are propelled by a great incen- 
tive. This is a marvel to the bourgeois newspaper 
correspondents. But it is just as Marx, three gen 
erations ago, said it would be under Socialism. 

The incentive of the Russian toilers is easily ex- 
plained. They own the country and everything in 
it. There is no exploiting class to rob them of the 
fruits of their toil. They welcome better produc- 
tion methods because they get the full benefit of 
them. They have broken the chain of capitalist 
slavery and are building a new world of liberty, 
prosperity and happiness for themselves and fam- 
ilies. It is equally understandable why the pro- 
ducing masses in capitalist countries betray no such 
enthusiasm in their work. The latter are robbed 
of what they produce; for them improvements in 
production mean wage-cuts and unemployment. 
Incentive under capitalism is confined practically 
to the exploiting classes and their hangers-on. It 
is only with the advent of Socialism that the great 
masses develop real incentive. 

Socialist incentive in the Soviet Union explains 
why the workers so militantly defended the revo- 
lution against the many capitalist armies in 1918- 
20, and why they have endured famine and pesti- 
lence for the revolution. In the industries it is 
an intelligent mass incentive that provides the basis 


for the keen Socialist competition, for shock-bri- 
gades to speed production, for the self-imposed 
labor discipline, for the heroic present-day self- 
denial in putting the Five- Year Plan into effect so 
that a solid base of heavy industry may be quickly 
laid for the Socialist prosperity. 

In view of all this mass interest and initiative 
of the workers in Soviet industry current capitalist 
charges about "forced labor" in the U.S.S.R. stand 
exposed as ridiculous. Forced labor is native to 
capitalism, not Socialism. The whole Socialist 
system is utterly antagonistic to any enslavement 
of the workers. Even bourgeois writers and poli- 
ticians are beginning to admit this. H. R. Mussey 
says: "If anybody wants a bargain in forced la- 
bor, or any other kind of labor, I should advise 
him not to look for it in Russia just now, as far as 
I have seen it; for it is a seller's market in labor 
if ever there was one." xl Rep. H. T. Rainey, 
Democratic House leader, declares: "Labor is 
freer in Russia than in any other country in the 
world." 12 

The differentiated wage scales, including piece- 
work, in the Soviet Union constitute no contradic- 
tion to the prevalent strong mass incentive. 
Temporarily, they must serve to stimulate the less 
conscious elements to acquire skill and to produce. 
The wage system as a whole is a hang-over from 

11 The Nation, Nov. 4, 1931. 

12 New York World-Telegram, Apr. 8, 1932. 


capitalism, part of the baggage that has to be dis- 
carded during the transition from capitalism to 
Communism. Improved production methods and 
general education will solve that problem. Re- 
cently Stalin said, in polemizing against tendencies 
to at once equalize wages: 

"Marx and Lenin said that the differences between 
skilled and unskilled work would continue to exist even 
under Socialism and even after the classes had been anni- 
hilated, that only under Communism would this difference 
disappear, that therefore, even under Socialism Vages* 
must be paid according to the labor performed and not 
according to need." 13 

Besides the revolutionary enthusiasm and initia- 
tive of the masses and many other indications al- 
ready present of the eventual wageless system there 
is the "Party maximum." That is, the members 
of the Communist party have a set wage limit above 
which they cannot go. Thus Stalin gets the same 
wages, as many hundreds of thousands of other 
workers and much less than large numbers of non- 
Party mechanics and engineers. "Russia," says 
Stuart Chase, "has achieved more progress and de- 
veloped more initiative on $150 a month, the of- 
ficial Party salary, than any other nation has ever 
dreamed of in an equal period." 14 

It is exactly in the incentive of the workers and 
poor farmers that the proletarian revolution has 

is Speech delivered on June 23, 1931. 

i* The Philadelphia Record, Nov. 22, 1931. 


its great motive force. This is what gains it the 
support of the masses, what carries it through a 
thousand trials and tribulations, what is driving 
through the Five- Year Plan successfully and what 
will eventually build a world system of Commu- 
nism. Mussey, in the above-quoted article from 
The Nation, issues the following warning to the 
capitalist class : 

"If the rulers of the western world would retain their 
leadership, even in part, then I am persuaded that they 
and their apologists would do well without further delay 
to recognize the profound significance of that combina- 
tion of motives on the basis of which the Russians have 
accomplished the impossibilities of the past 14 years and 
to cease their parrot-like iteration of the impossibility 
of successful appeal in industry to anything except in- 
dividual cupidity. The Russian construction marvels of 
1931 and they are marvels are not built on indi- 
vidual cupidity." 

Collectivism and Individualism 

DEFENDERS of capitalism declare that Socialism 
destroys individualism. But when they speak of 
individualism they have in mind the right of freely 
exploiting the workers. They mean that the anti- 
social individualism of capitalism will go. Under 
Socialism no one will have the right to exploit 
another; no longer will a profit-hungry employer 
be able to shut his factory gates and sentence thou- 
sands to starvation; no more will it be possible for 


a little clique of capitalists and their political hench- 
men to plunge the world into a blood-bath of war. 

Yes, such deadly individualism is doomed. But 
the revolution will create in its stead a new and 
better development of the individual. The collec- 
tivist society of Socialism, by freeing the masses 
from economic and political slavery will, for the 
first time in history, give the masses an opportunity 
to fully develop and express their personalities. 
Theirs will be an individuality growing out of and 
harmonizing with the interests of all. It will not 
have the objective of one's getting rich by robbing 
the toilers, but will develop itself in the direction 
of achievement in science, industrial technique, art, 
sports, etc. A typical example of this new motive 
was the case of Lensky, a worker in the "Pneu- 
matics" factory of Leningrad who recently in- 
vented a very valuable electric-pneumatic meter: 
given 120,000 rubles as a reward, he immediately 
presented the money to various cultural organiza- 

The boast of capitalist apologists about the equal 
opportunity which their society affords, that it is 
a case of the survival of the fittest, is a tissue of 
lies. What equality is there between a Vander- 
bilt and a poor miner? And as for the fittest sur- 
viving, under capitalism, this means those strongest 
financially. Harry K. Thaw is a glowing example 
of capitalist survival of the fittest. Only Social- 
ism can provide equality of opportunity, which 


means a genuine occasion for the masses to enjoy 
life and to develop their latent personalities. 

Socialism, it is also argued, kills the spirit of 
competition in society. That is more nonsense. 
Under Socialism men and women strive for supe- 
riority in achievement just as naturally as boys do 
in a foot race. But not on the basis of privately- 
owned, competitive industry. Indeed, Socialism 
will introduce the first real competition since the 
days of primitive Communism. Lenin, in an ar- 
ticle written in 1918, says: 

"Socialism does not only not extinguish competition 
but on the contrary for the first time creates possibilities 
to apply competition widely, on a real mass scale, to draw 
the majority of the workers into the field of this work, 
where they can really show themselves, where they can 
develop their abilities, disclose their talents which are an 
untouched source among the masses and which capitalism 
trampled upon, crushed and strangled by thousands and 

Stalin thus describes the basically different capi- 
talist and Socialist competition: 

"The principle of capitalist competition is defeat and 
death for some and victory for others. The principle of 
Socialist competition is, comradely assistance to those 
lagging behind the more advanced, with the purpose to 
reach general advancement." 

The history of the Russian revolution to date en- 
tirely bears out these statements of Lenin and Sta- 
lin. Socialist competition is one of the main 


driving forces of the revolutionary development. 
In view of the basic tasks now confronting the 
Soviet Union, it is inevitable that the most striking 
manifestation of the new Socialist competition 
should relate to the buildng and operation of the 
industries. This, which we have described in 
Chapter II, is a gigantic factor in carrying through 
the Five- Year Plan. But Socialist competition 
runs into every other field of endeavor as well, and 
it will play an increasing role as the new Socialist 
system gets a more solid foundation. 

The existence of a strong mass incentive and a 
lively spirit of competition under Socialism effec- 
tually disposes of the time-worn "dead level of 
Socialism" theory. Not Socialism, but capitalism, 
with its exploitation, terrorism, war, superstition, 
and cultivated illiteracy, creates a dead level in its 
poverty and ignorance for the uncounted millions 
of toilers of field and factory. It is precisely 
Socialism that will destroy this dead level. 

But the capitalists, as is their wont, seek to jus- 
tify their destructive type of competition by assert- 
ing that it is rooted firmly in human nature. Such 
appeals to "human nature," however, must be taken 
cautiously. By that method of reasoning it would 
be quite easy to conclude that the rich capitalist 
who heartlessly casts workers out of his shops pen- 
niless and gives no thought as to their future has 
quite a different "human nature" than the African 
Negro hunter who, with his high sense of clan soli- 


darity, before eating his kill, calls loudly in the 
four directions in case perchance there may be 
another hungry hunter nearby. Changed social 
conditions develop different "human natures." 
Thus competition, a ruinous, anti-social thing un- 
der capitalism, becomes, under Socialism, highly 

In recent years the argument against the ap- 
proaching "dead level" of Socialism has taken on 
a new development. Now machinery itself is be- 
ing roundly denounced as a "dead leveller." Wide 
fear is expressed that we are going into a regime 
of such standardization and mechanization that life 
is becoming merely a machine-like process and the 
people so many robots. 

This fear is essentially a class fear. The petty 
bourgeoisie, including their writers and poets, 
dread the machine because it wipes out their class 
base, small industry; because it brings the further 
subjugation of their class to the bankers and big 
industrialists. Many capitalist economists, like 
Foster and Catchings, Tugwell, Chase, 15 etc., also 
fear the machine and modern methods of mass pro- 
duction, because they sense their revolutionary con- 
sequences. They see the growing volume of 
production, the shrinking markets, the increasing 

15 Chase, although stating that, on the whole, the effect of the 
machine has been progressive, is manifestly alarmed. In Men and 
Machines, p. 348, his fear and confusion are expressed by his 
empty program of meeting the problem of the machine without a 
plan, "with nothing to guide us but our naked intelligence and a 
will to conquer." 


unemployment, the radicalization of the producing 
masses, the growing revolutionary struggle, and 
they tremble at the prospect. In Montreal, ac- 
cording to a United Press dispatch of Feb. 23, 
1932, the Canadian government buried a toy steam- 
shovel ceremoniously, declaring that its "future 
policy will be to engage manual laborers and to 
scrap machinery wherever advisable." 

Anti-machine propaganda like that of Gandhi, 
Spengler, etc., is the absurdity of capitalism in 
despair and decline. None such will be found in 
the Soviet Union. The Soviet workers do not fear 
the machine. They see in it an emancipator from 
the drudgery and poverty of the past. They have 
no dread of ensuing industrial crises and unem- 
ployment. They will control the machine; not let 
it enslave them as it has done under capitalism. 
Nor do they fear that it will create a "dead level," 
standardized, uninteresting world. Such con- 
ditions can only develop under capitalism where 
everything is made for profit's sake. Capitalism 
naturally develops a hopeless babbittry in every 
direction; but Socialism produces inevitably the 
intelligent and the beautiful. 

Under Socialism the machine will be used on the 
broadest scale possible to produce the necessities 
of life in the great industries, transport systems and 
communication services. It would be the sheer- 
est nonsense and quite impossible not to take ad- 
vantage of every labor and time-saving device. 


But Socialist society will also know how to develop 
the variegated and artistic. Where the creative 
impulses of the masses are not checked by poverty 
and slavery, where the arts and sciences are not 
hamstrung by the profit-making motive, where the 
masses are not poisoned by anti-social codes of 
morals and ethics, and where every assistance of 
the free community is given to the maximum cul- 
tivation of the intellectual and artistic powers of 
the masses there we need have no fear that so- 
ciety will be robotized by the machine. 

Life under a Communist society will be varied 
and interesting. Individual will vie with individ- 
ual, as never before, to create the useful and the 
beautiful. Locality will compete with locality in 
the beauty of their architecture. The impress of 
individuality and originality will be upon every- 
thing. The world will become a place well worth 
living in, and what is the most important, its joys 
will not be the niggardly monopoly of a privileged 
ruling class but the heritage of the great producing 

Building a New World 

THE PROLETARIAN revolution is the most profound 
of all revolutions in history. It initiates changes 
more rapid and far-reaching than any in the whole 
experience of mankind. The hundreds of millions 
of workers and peasants, striking off their age-old 
chains of slavery, will construct a society of liberty 


and prosperity and intelligence. Communism will 
inaugurate a new era for the human race, the build- 
ing of a new world. 

The overthrow of capitalism and the develop- 
ment of Communism will bring about the immedi- 
ate or eventual solution of many great social 
problems. Some of these originate in capitalism, 
and others have plagued the human race for scores 
of centuries. Among them are war, religious 
superstition, prostitution, famine, pestilence, crime, 
poverty, alcoholism, unemployment, illiteracy, race 
and national chauvinism, the suppression of 
woman, and every form of slavery and exploita- 
tion of one class by another. Already in the Soviet 
Union, with the revolution still in its initial stages, 
the forces are distinctly to be seen at work that 
will eventually liquidate these handicaps to the 
happiness and progress of the human race. But, 
of course, only a system of developed world Com- 
munism can fully uproot and destroy all these 

The objective conditions, in the shape of scien- 
tific knowledge and the means of creating material 
wealth, are already at hand in sufficient measure 
to do away with these menaces to humanity. But 
the trouble lies with the subjective factor, the capi- 
talist order of society. Capitalism, based upon 
human exploitation, stands as the great barrier to 
social progress. Communism, by abolishing the 
capitalist system, liquidates this subjective diffi- 


culty. It releases thereby productive forces 
strong enough to provide plenty for all and it de- 
stroys the whole accompanying capitalist baggage 
of cultivated ignorance, strife and misery. Com- 
munism frees humanity from the stultifying effects 
of the present essentially animal struggle for ex- 
istence and opens up before it new horizons of 
joys and tasks. The day is not so far distant when 
our children, immersed in this new life, will look 
back with horror upon capitalism and marvel how 
we tolerated it so long. 

Communist society, in its battle onward and up- 
ward, will attack and carry through many pro- 
found measures besides those mentioned. Among 
these will be the organization of the economics of 
the world upon a rational and planned basis, the 
systematic conservation and increase of the world's 
natural resources, the development of a vast con- 
centration upon all the great problems now con- 
fronting science, the beautification of the world by 
a new and richer artistry, the liquidation of con- 
gested cities and the combination of the joys and 
conveniences of country and urban life, and the 
solution of many other great problems and tasks 
now hardly even imagined. 

Communist society, however, will not confine it- 
self simply to thus developing the objective condi- 
tions for a better life. Especially will it turn its 
attention to the subjective factor, to the funda- 
mental improvement of man himself. Capitalism, 


with its wars, wage slavery, slums, crooked doctors, 
etc., undermines the health of the race and destroys 
its physique. Communism, with its healthful 
dwellings and working conditions, its pure food, 
physical culture, etc., will make good health, like 
thorough education, the property of all. Already 
this is becoming so in the Soviet Union. But this 
will be only a beginning. Communist society will 
go farther. It will scientifically regulate the 
growth of population. It will especially speed up 
the very evolution of man himself, his brain and 
body. Capitalism has checked the evolution of 
the human species, if it has not actually brought 
about a process of race degeneration. But Com- 
munism will systematically breed up mankind. 
Already the scientific knowledge is at hand to do 
this, but it is at present inapplicable because of 
the idiocy of the capitalist system, its planlessness, 
its antiquated moral codes, its warp and woof of 

For many generations the long list of Utopians, 
the Platos, Mores, Fouriers, Owens, and Bellamys, 
have dreamed and planned ideal states of society. 
Their strong point was that they sensed mankind's 
capacity for a higher social life than the existing 
wild scramble. But their weak point, and this was 
decisive, was that they did not know what was the 
matter with society nor how to cure it. They had 
not the slightest conception of either the objective 
or subjective conditions necessary for social revo- 


lution. Their Utopias, mere speculations discon- 
nected from actual life, fell upon deaf ears. 

It has remained for the modern proletariat, un- 
der the brilliant leadership of Marx and Lenin, to 
find the revolutionary way to the higher social 
order, on the basis of the industrial and social con- 
ditions set up by capitalism. Marxians have been 
able to analyze capitalism scientifically, to work 
out a correct program and strategy of struggle, to 
establish effective organization among the workers 
and peasants, to master generally the laws of so- 
cial development. Consequently, with the objec- 
tive situation becoming ever more ripe, the 
revolution no longer appears as an abstraction, a 
mere theory. Today, Socialism is a great living 
world reality. As Polakov says, "The Russian 
'experiment* is an experiment no more." In the 
Soviet Union the first great breach has been made 
in the walls of capitalism. The rest will follow 
apace. And we may be sure that the revolution, 
in its upward course, will carry humanity to heights 
of happiness and achievement far beyond the 
dreams of even the most hopeful Utopians. 

American imperialism is now strong. Its cham- 
pions ridicule the idea of a revolution. But their 
assurance is not now quite so sure as it was a couple 
of years ago, before the great industrial collapse. 
They are beginning to feel a deadly fear. The 
Russian revolution is to them such a terrible reality. 
But they console themselves with the thought that 


"it can never happen in this country," and they 
scorn the at-present weak Communist party. But 
they overlook the detail that the same attitude was 
taken towards the pre-re volution Bolsheviki. 
Especially did the Socialist Moguls of the Second 
International look upon them as narrow sectarians 
and upon Lenin as a fanatical dreamer. But one 
thing is certain, American capitalism is part and 
parcel of the world capitalist system and is subject 
to all its basic weaknesses and contradictions; it 
travels the same way to its destruction as capitalism 
in general. 

The world capitalist system is in decay. All 
the king's horses and all the king's men cannot- save 
it. Its general crisis deepens; the masses develop 
revolutionary consciousness ; the international revo- 
lutionary storm forces gather. Capitalism, it is 
true, makes a strong and stubborn resistance. 
The advance of the revolution is difficult, its pace 
is slow, and it varies from country to country, but 
its direction is sure and its movement irresistible. 
Under the leadership of the Communist Inter- 
national the toilers of the world are organizing to 
put a final end to the long, long ages of ignorance 
and slavery, of which capitalist imperialism is the 
last stage, and to begin building a prosperous and 
intelligent society commensurate with the levels to 
which social knowledge and production possibilities 
have reached.